Those Eyes

Alex warned me... her eyes were enormous, the color of dark chocolate with the haunting look of desperation.   He said she was thinner than anything he'd ever seen...  and he was right.    Her skin hangs like clothes 3 sizes too big...   and yet those eyes.

Alex also said that when I laid my eyes on hers, I would feel a sense of protectiveness and want to bring her home.  He knows me.  And yet, she has a Mama.

Alex met her Friday night.   She came into the House of Hope through the malnourished baby program.  She is 6 months old and weighs only 8 lbs.   Severely malnourished.   Her Mama had 8 children and is currently 5 months pregnant with her 9th.   There is nothing in the way of food for this little angel.

It was all I could do today to get breakfast made, coordinate chores and load up to head out to meet her.   I couldn't believe her when I saw her.  She looked like a little old woman.  But those eyes, they were huge and stared at me with a pleading.

Her attempts at a bottle were in starts and fits.    And then she got sick all over me and we knew she needed to be checked out by the hospital.   Knowing the wait would be lengthy, I wanted to make sure she had clean clothes, enough diapers, blankets, etc.    As I stood in the storage area looking at the treasures of the recent container delivery, I got teary-eyed.  I thought about the many, many people who had donated baby clothes, diapers, etc. in a different part of the world so that this very child could be dressed and clean today.   We are all connected. 

At the hospital, we waited and waited with our little number.  She was wrapped in her blanket, wouldn't eat and just gave me these piercing stares.   I held her tight to me, praying over this little one, praying for God to heal her,  praying for the formula to feed her, praying for the other babies in the emergency room and praying that my limited Spanish would be enough for this little one.

The nurse was kind, but I'm certain frustrated by my lack of knowledge of her history and my inability to communicate well.   The doctor understood my Spanish much better, and vice versa.    Little one immediately got an IV, which gave her enough stamina to take half an ounce of food.   Still, those piercing stares as I rocked her back and forth, all the way to Texas in my thoughts.

The hospital is a 'bring your own' type of place... bring your own, sheets, formula, food, toilet paper, and so on.  They have nothing in the way of supplies to offer.  So, the sweet volunteer at the House of Hope brought up the goods and also an amazing young woman to spend the night at the hospital.  

With night rapidly approaching, I had to quickly run to the store to find the new type of prescribed formula for little one.   So, I said goodnight to her.  I kissed her tiny hand and talked to her in English a bit more.

At that moment, she beamed... the biggest, toothless grin I have ever seen.   And she continued to shower the entire room with that beautiful smile for several more minutes.  Everyone around was audibly delighted at her expression. 

The doctor was preparing her for a blood transfusion.   The formula was there when I needed to buy it, praise God.  And the littlest one was safe for the night in the hospital. 

Thank you, Lord, for that smile.  Thank you, Lord, for the availability of the IV and the blood for this one.  Thank you, Lord, for a dirty hospital that can provide the basic care for this little life whose path You've crossed with mine.  Thank you, Lord, for a day to remember.

Please join us in prayer for this little one and for her Mama and siblings.  God knows her name. :)


Araratacres said…
Laura, thanks for sharing stories like these. Question: when you say going to the store to get formula....are you referring to a real store, or to the store room of supplies? Also, I'm wondering if there are certain types of formula we should look for when collecting cans for the next trip. love you. me
Laura said…
Liz - formula is sold at a few stores in town. However, it is expensive and often unavailable. We were fortunate to find the special formula the doctor recommended yesterday at one of the stores. It was $13 for a small container that might last 3 days or so.

Small cans of formula are good to be able to pass on. Yes, the group brought a few cans of formula with them.

Any basic type of formula for newborn up to one year is great. Specialized formula is something we could put back for future use, but isn't needed often.

As for your e-mail, I was smiling to read that. Not sure how to approach that. I'm sure the health department has something along those lines. Our job is more of the abstinence training :) which we are receiving materials for very soon!

Holly (me.) said…
Ah, yes... the little ones with Mamas. What a blessing to be able to love on the ones who are to be given back into other arms.

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