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prayers and ponderings

Today.  Oh my goodness. 

Today was so blessed in so many ways.  Yet very heartbreaking too.

Friends, Julia is in the hospital.  She got admitted yesterday afternoon.  Her teeny, tiny, frail little body is so malnourished that she was unable to digest any food that she was taking in.  She will be in the hospital for about two weeks while she is being fed through a tube.

The blessing for me was that I got to spend the whole afternoon with her today.  I couldn’t stop thanking my Father in heaven for the gift of being able to see her in her time of need–and to her family for allowing me the privilege of being able to sit and love on their little girl whom I love so dearly.

Sorry for the poor quality of the pics–I took them with my phone which Miss Julia was trying to grab from me.

I sang to her.

I prayed for her.

I told her over and over again how absolutely beautiful she is.

And you know what?

We cuddled!  I could not believe that Julia actually allowed me to hold her…for hours and hours!  I am amazed how far she has come since the Schwenzers brought her home just a few weeks ago. This girl had no idea what it meant to be loved, to be snuggled.  But today, she loved to be held. 

We even had a few giggles together.  It was like sweet music to my ears.

Isn’t it amazing how a child can be confined to a crib for four years, be half starved to death, be abandoned by even the caretakers assigned to her care, be living with a debilitating disease which is causing her body to age prematurely, be hooked up to machines and have tubes going into her nose to feed her….and still find a reason to smile.

It’s very humbling.

I’m sure that the nurses thought I was a blubbering idiot.  Being the cry baby that I am…I cried.  I wept for Julia because of all that she has endured in her four years of life. I cried tears of thankfulness for all of you who sowed financially so that she could come home. I wept with gratitude that she has been rescued and is finally home getting the medical help, the nutrition, and the love of a family that should always have been hers.

And I wept just thinking of the sheer injustice of it all.  NO CHILD should have to be admitted to hospital because they are malnourished.  No parent should have to hear that their child’s body is literally shutting down due to starvation.  It’s heartbreaking.

No child should ever have to go through that.

I sat with Julia in my arms this afternoon and couldn’t help but think of the thousands just like her who are languishing in horrendous orphanages.

And no one is coming. Ever.

Julia, Carrington, Lily, and others are the blessed ones.  They were chosen.  They received the medical attention and the nourishment they needed to ensure their survival.  I have no doubt that all these kids would have died if their parents never got to them when they did.

But there are so many others…those who will never be as fortunate.  Today I ached for them as I looked into the big brown eyes of one whose life has been spared.

This week I saw an appeal for a little boy in Eastern Europe who is just a little guy.  He suffers from hydrocephalus.  Inserting a shunt is, in my understanding, a fairly common procedure and is life changing.  This little guy?  He doesn’t have one! He’s been denied the one thing that can save his life. His orphanage, his doctors, those who make decisions on his behalf….they refuse to have the shunt inserted.  I know all about what the outcome will be for him.  When Anthony and I were in China adopting Hannah-Claire we visited an orphanage.  There we met a baby boy who did not have a shunt for his hydrocephalus.  We saw him in his crib–dying a slow and very painful death.  The day after we were there, he passed away.

And there was nothing we could do about it.  It was excruciating seeing him lying there.  It was one of those defining moments in my life when God broke my heart for the things that break His.

God has etched the face of that child in my memory forever. Who will go and adopt the little boy whose picture I saw this week?  Who will even adopt a child with a head way bigger than his emaciated body?  Who will give this little guy a chance in life? Tell me….who?

Who will go for the other Julias of the world?  The ones who, without medical intervention, will surely perish?

I just don’t know, friends. 

It’s the question that I think about when I lie awake in the wee hours of the night.  It’s in those crazy hours that I ponder one of my favorite quotes, “Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it…but I’m afraid He might ask me the same question.”  (Anonymous)

I looked at sweet Julia today and I realized something all over again…every single child is worth fighting for.  Every child has worth and value and a place in this world.  Every child’s life is ultimately for the Father’s glory.  Every child deserves the love of a family, basic health care, and good nutrition.

And when all my questions come up time and again, and when I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the orphan crisis, I hear that still, small voice whisper to my heart, “What are you doing about it, Adéye?”

The sweet child who lay peacefully in my arms this afternoon taught me much.

Please will you join me in praying for sweet Julia? Two weeks is a long time to be in the hospital. Trust that she gains weight quickly and that her strength will be restored so that she can go home sooner than expected.  Also, please keep her precious family in your prayers. Julia is in a hospital an hour away from home. That is not an easy thing to figure out when you have five other children at home to take care of. 

I know the Schwenzer’s would so appreciate our prayers at this time.

Thank you for loving Julia and her amazing family. 

****  Someone just sent me a link to a blog adocating for Nathaniel (the little boy I mentioned above).  You can read his story here.  Heartbreaking!

If you are new to my blog and don’t know Julia’s story, you can read it here.