It has been far too long since we have sent an update out. There has been a lot happening since the first of the year, many blessings, but also many challenges as we press ahead doing “battle” for the little ones.
Since our last newsletter we have reached a couple of milestones. We surpassed 200 babies rescued, (currently at 207) and surpassed 100 babies adopted. (Currently at 101) It has been a hectic start to the year.
One of our biggest prayer requests over the past couple of years has been in regards to International Adoption opening back up. All indications are that this will not happen. The current government simply will not budge on it, and sadly are doing other things that are making life tougher for us as we advocate for the little ones.
So, in an effort to get some focused prayer for some special little folks, this update is going to focus on them. We currently have seven who are considered “special needs” meaning that each one has a health issue that makes them “almost” impossible to get adopted locally in Kenya. (the only kind of adoption we can do now) There seems to be literally no support from the government to assist these precious ones in getting a Forever Family.
At a meeting I (Dave) was at this week there was a speaker from the government talking about the future of orphan care in Kenya. He is part of the group who are instrumental in Int. adoptions being closed. When the chance arrived I ask point blank what was going to happen to a little one who has a special need and will most likely not be fostered, or adopted by a Kenyan family. I shared Toby’s story (see below) and told of his condition. He tried to skirt the question, but others in the crowd of around 80 wanted his answer. So he said that it was too bad, but some children were just going to suffer due to the rules now. Basically a child, like Toby is considered a “non-person” by many. So, what happens to these angels is clearly in God’s more than capable Hands. And we need to ask for a massive outpouring of prayer for these, and all the other special needs children who seemingly are being “thrown under the bus”.
Let me introduce you to some incredibly special kids!
Adriel Angelina came to us in November 2016 at about one-year old. Her mother left her with a neighbor and said she would be back shortly. She never came back. Angelina was a very sick little girl. The opening on her lower spine indicated Spina Bifida and it appeared she had additional neurological issues. After extensive tests and scans it was determined she has an absent corpus callosum, what is supposed to connect the right and left side of the brain. Some people with this condition can lead a normal life with little complications. Others, struggle to do the most basic of things. We have seen great improvement in Angelina. She laughs and plays and is a total joy to be around. Her muscle tone has improved and she is able to stand in the standing frame. She loves the water therapy and has benefitted from it much. But she has a long way to go and really needs to be in a family that is able, and willing to give her a lot of one on one love and care.
Peter James came to us 11 months ago after he was abandoned in a brushy area and found by a passer-by. He was about two weeks old at the time. After a couple of weeks, he was admitted to the hospital as he was a very sick little boy, having a fever and trouble breathing. With treatment he recovered quickly, but while at the hospital it was confirmed that he is HIV +. Aside from his status, he is a healthy and happy little boy. Like most of our special needs babies, he is freed for adoption and is only waiting for the family God prompts to come get him.
Mary Rose has stolen a lot of hearts since she arrived at MpM! In October of 2017 we received a call from a children’s officer we work with frequently who told us she got a call from another officer a few hours south of us. She had an abandoned baby, and none of the homes in her area would take her due to her testing positive for HIV. She asked if we would be willing and we quickly said “yes!” When Mary arrived we determined her age to be 14 months although she weighed 12 lbs. She was very sick, and had wounds up and down her legs. We rushed her to the hospital where they determined she had severe sepsis and the Dr. said she was a Stage 4 HIV case, meaning she was near death. It was a long and slow process, with Jen and Mary spending many days at different hospitals fighting the virus that was determined to kill her. But God did what only He can do, and Mary is now a beautiful and happy blessing who loves life. Like most of our HIV + children her viral load is non-detectable, meaning that she is very heathy and cannot spread the virus to others. She can lead a perfectly normal life (while taking her medication) and have a family and a great future living positively! All she needs now is a family who is willing to take her in and love her.
Zilpah Eve is perhaps our winner in the “Miss Personality” contest! While Eve can be moody, she can also be a little love bug. In October, 2016 we were contacted to come get a little girl who was abandoned by her mother at the national government hospital in Nairobi. Her mother had given birth to her three months before and then
abandoned her. Even though they knew the mother was HIV+ the hospital made no effort to treat Eve. And sadly waited three months to contact us. When a baby is exposed to HIV by her mother, it is very likely that the proper medication and diet can protect the baby from being infected. Eve is an example of the typical care babies receive in government hospitals. By the time we got her into our care the virus had infected little Eve’s body as well. Now at almost three years of age, Eve is ready for her own family to boss around! ☺
Almost three years ago we got a call to come pick up a little boy who was abandoned by his mother at a clinic where he was born. He was 11 days old when we met Shadrach Jason. He quickly became “Shaddy” and started earning his place in the pecking order of babies at MpM. On arrival he appeared to be a very healthy baby, with all tests coming back normal. After a few months he developed some Eczema which was treated with medicated cream. By December he was continuing to have skin issues and a lot of different creams and medicines were tried. At seven months of age he started showing signs of being allergic to bananas and avocado. Other foods seemed to be affecting him negatively also. In April we took him to see an Allergist and it was found that he was allergic to almost everything. Further tests showed he had an Auto Immune Deficiency.
It has been a long and tough road for Shaddy, everything from the sun to dust has a negative effect on him. Thankfully, as he grows older some things like dairy, do not bother him as much.
Shaddy, like Eve, Mary, Michael, Angelina, Peter James, and Toby are all victims of much more than a “condition” that affects their little bodies. They are victims of a culture that has little room for anything other than a “perfect” baby.
We honestly do not know what the future holds for each of these little ones. “Our” plan was to have babies up to age two. And to either have them returned to biological family, or adopted into their own Forever Family before they turn two. But here we are, with a growing number of toddlers approaching age three. They are approaching an age where pre-school is a norm here in Kenya. Their developmental needs are changing fast, and much different than the infants we started out as our main focus.
Even if we wanted to start a home for the older special needs children, the government is not allowing “new” homes to start up.
So this different, and longer than normal newsletter update is not about asking for funds. While those are needed, it is not what is needed most.
What is needed most is prayer.
Join us praying that each of these precious gifts from God will continue to grow in His love and come to understand that they have a Father who will never consider them anything but perfect.
Join us in praying that families will be bold enough to say “no” to culture and be willing to open their hearts and homes to these special kids.
Join us in praying that each one’s health will continue to improve and allow them to enjoy a life that they deserve.
Join us in praying for the government of Kenya to have a change of heart, to start recognizing the value of all “special” children and to do whatever is necessary for them to get a family to love them.
And finally, please join us in praying for wisdom, stamina, and discernment on our part as we seek to give these little ones all they need.
If ever we have shared a pressing and urgent need, this is it. And it costs you nothing more than a little time in the presence of our Creator, pleading for Him to move hearts.
Thank you for being a partner, and family of this ministry.
Thank you for making a difference, one life at a time.
Striving to serve Him,
Dave, Jen, Ethan, and Selah