Oct.20: 2 p.m.
Dear Praying Friends,
Besides what I posted on our blog, we haven't said much about Hope. Mostly because it still feels like a dream but also because we weren't sure if she would survive. The past few days have been a whirlwind and emotional roller coaster for us as we've poured love and attention into baby Hope. But last night, Oct 19 at 10:30 p.m. her little heart stopped beating and she went to be with Jesus.
If you want to hear the whole story, read on...
The baby's name was actually Rahab but we all nicknamed her "Hope". On Friday she came to live with us and we set up a "contract" with the baby's grandmother and uncle saying we would care for baby Hope until she could eat solid food (porridge). When she's ready to go home with them, we'd also ask them to take a class at the clinic in town about how to feed and care for malnourished children. (The reasons we were keeping her are 1.) we can keep her in a clean environment 2) we knew we couldn’t just give a can of formula to them because they would add dirty river water and not wash the bottles/utensils properly and 3.) we have medicines if she gets sick.
Since she arrived on Thursday, she'd been drinking the baby formula well, having wet and poopy diapers, and crying more which I took as a good sign because she was so weak the day she came she couldn't even cry.
Our whole team fell in love with her and the five of us women took turns caring for her. The nights were most difficult since we didn’t get much sleep but we also took turns having her at night.
On Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m. she took a turn for the worse quite suddenly. She started having a hard time breathing. With good advice from Dr. Fader (our Papa) and Dr. Rob in Doro, we started her on an antibiotic to fight whatever infection might be attacking her little body. A few hours later she seemed to be improving and started feeding again - this time through a syringe since she was again too weak to suck.
I went to check on her before heading to bed around 9:30(she was going to stay with Lori and Phalice)and she was eating well. But an hour later Phalice came knocking at my door to say we were losing her. By the time I unwrapped her blankets to feel for a heatbeat/pulse, she was gone. Phalice tried some baby CPR for a few minutes but we realized there was nothing else we could do. We called everyone over and spent the next few hours praying and crying together.
This has been a really rough time. I never thought we'd experience something like this. When we took her in, we knew it would take a miracle for her to survive so we were trying to be prepared for the worse, but we are still so sad. We all grew to love her so much in just a few days.
The relatives came to get her body and will bury her today. We will go for a visitation tomorrow. We've also planned to have a small memorial service of our own as a team to make closure.
This has definitely bonded us as a team and family here, but please do pray for us. We long for the day when God's kingdom will come and put an end to grieving and pain.
So thankful for you,
Bethany and the rest of our family here