Back to that day at the orphanage... One of the primary reasons we were there was to check on a baby named Isaac. Some friends of ours from Knoxville- Lance and Debbie Robinson had fallen in love with this little guy. Lance had been in Haiti since a few days after the earthquake and had visited Isaac several times, slowly falling in love with him, but also knowing he was quite ill. So, we were there to check on him (and the other sick kids) AND to bring food and water to everyone there. The roads had been so badly damaged that it made it very hard to get any vehicles up to the orphanage which is located in a village in the mountains north or Port au Prince. The kids and workers had been without food and water except for what Norris and the others from ProVision had been taking to them.
I will come back and tell you the story of Isaac some day. A beautiful story of the Father's love for us... and how we are called to lavish that on others. If you have been at Cedar Springs this summer, you may have heard Lance Robinson tell the story already... After I get permission, I will tell the story with pictures and all! Know this, Isaac is now resting in the arms of the Lord and I can't wait to hold him and kiss him again one day.
When I walked in the orphanage to the area where the babies were kept, the VERY FIRST thing I laid eyes on was this:
This is the area where the infants play and sleep... Look a little closer... among the toys... in the yellow onesie. Do you see her? Let me help you...
Martha- a.k.a. "Bella". My baby girl.
As a Nurse Practitioner with Dr. Greg and Dr. Abby, one of the very first things they taught me was to distinguish between "sick baby" and "not-sick baby". When I looked at this baby on the floor, the words that pounded in my mind were "SICK BABY". She could BARELY sit up or hold her head up. She was EMACIATED with a HUGE belly. She was super dehydrated and just clung to you when you picked her up. I did a quick exam on her (between taking care of Isaac) and saw that she was severely dehydrated with pneumonia and double ear infections. I had already asked for an ambulance (which is a joke in Haiti) for Isaac and quickly asked permission to take Martha with us for medical attention. They whisked me, the 2 babies and Renee into a truck and got us down that mountain in record time. Renee and I were feeding the babies Pedialyte with a dropper. Martha was SUCKING it down and begging for more until she passed out and took a BIG ole' nap!
Renee holding Martha (Bella)
Martha (Bella) night owl (note time on iphone)- still the night owl!
This was the first picture Renee and I took of this little one! We made it back to the hospital in the D.R. in record time... While I was consumed with getting Isaac stabilized, Renee got Martha cleaned up and put a clean onesie on her and fed her some more Pedialyte and she started to perk up. We went for a LATE dinner and this girl ATE and ATE and ATE. I fought Renee for her to sleep with ME...
Side-note: my dear twin-at-heart, Ellen, had texted me the morning I left for Haiti that her prayer was that I would just KNOW who my daughter was.... Love at first sight? Not exactly. I mean, she was FILTHY! However, that first night that she curled up into my body and slept against me, I was DONE. SOLD. IN.LOVE.
I had consulted with an immigration attorney before I left the country. I warned her that it was highly likely I would fall in love with a sick baby I would want to bring home to the states for medical care and would be retaining her to help me accomplish this in a split moment. I called her the next morning. Her reply was something like this... "Molly, I didn't mean for you to call me your SECOND day in Haiti with a baby to bring home!" She went right to work and the short of it is we came home on February 5, 2010!!! Our GOTCHA day!!!
Now, don't get me wrong, there is ALOT more to that story. ALOT of stress, sweat, tears, paperwork, and sleepless nights went into getting Bella home. My group left at the end of week one and I FELL APART but KNEW that I was to stay and finish what God had started. When I emailed Greg and Abby (my bosses)- the email I got back from Dr. Greg said "obey God". Wow.
Below are pictures from our time in Haiti... more pictures and less words... it's what you want anyway, right?!
The second night I had "baby girl" in Haiti. These pictures went to the government to prove medical necessity. At this point, we were calling her "baby girl" because she didn't answer to "Martha" and I didn't know if I got to keep her yet, so I hadn't named her!
eating all she wants for the first time in her life!
falling into a full-tummy induced coma
And WE'RE BACK for round 2!!!
Please take note of not 2, but THREE cookies in her hands!
If ANYONE walked by with food in their hands, she IMMEDIATELY SNATCHED it faster than you could say "cookie"! It was unbelievable!
So much more to share from our time in Haiti... Baby Girl changed SO much in just the 2 weeks we were there. She gained weight, started to smile, giggle, sit up, crawl, bear weight on her legs... all those pictures to come! For now, I will post this for you to enjoy! Thanks for following our journey and loving my Baby Girl.