Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby Rahab

Oct. 17 2008
When baby Rahab arrived on our compound yesterday morning I thought she would die in my arms. At only two months old and probably weighing less than 4 pounds, she was just a little skeleton. It was a cool day and she was naked, with just a ragged, dirty cloth covering her slight body. So after feeding her two ounces of baby formula from a bottle, we dressed her in some of Joshua’s small clothes, socks, a little hat, and swaddled her in a blanket. She instantly fell asleep since she was warm and had a full tummy for the first time in a long time.
Throughout the rest of the day, we fed her an ounce of formula every hour or so. It turns out that Rahab’s mother was somehow related to Bookie, our househelp, so Bookie offered for them to stay with her, just down the path from our compound. Sadly, the person left to care for the baby is a 12 year old girl named Dama. So around 6 p.m. we sent Dama and baby Rahab with a bottle to Bookie’s house. Later around 10 p.m. Eli took another bottle to help get her through the night. He still wasn’t home an hour later and when he did finally get home he smelled like coffee and campfire. The village people were so happy he came, they insisted he stay for a few cups of strong Arabic coffee.
This morning Dama brought Rahab back and I made up another bottle. Dama said Rahab slept better last night than she ever has. Dama was thankful for that.
I’m learning a whole lot through this situation. There are definitely some frustrating times because of communication problems. The plan we came up with yesterday was that Dama and Rahab would stay with Bookie for a few months until Rahab got her weight back and started eating some solids (porridge/cereal.) But I found out this morning that Dama is too afraid to stay without someone from her own village. (There were two men, and an old woman who came with her to bring the baby.) I bluntly told them that little Rahab would die if they took her back to their village because they already told me that there is no other woman there who can nurse the baby. So the baby will starve.
I’m happy and willing to keep Rahab here with us for a few months until she’s stronger and eating solids and can go back with her relatives. But we’ll have that meeting this afternoon to see if that’s an option they would agree to. I know this is way over my head but I think it will save her life and that is well worth a few stressful months for me. I keep reminding myself that this is not over God’s head and He has a good plan for baby Rahab.


Megan said...

Bethany, my goodness, God is definitely doing a mighty work there for these babies, isn't He? As overwhelming as it seems, I know that you are such the perfect person to love on these babies and help them get healthy. I have been praying for you all every day that aid would be sent and that God would help you to sort out what you are to do with all of this new sense of ministry. Once you find something out, if there is anything we can do from the states, please let us know. We desperately want to help. We love you dearly!!

Melanie said...

I'm going to have to stop reading your blog. I don't think my heart can take it.

Just kidding about the reading. But not about my heart.

Baby steps to where we want to be said...

Bethany, i (keely) found your blog through thomas crane's blog a while back and since then i have been reading your blog with every update. i have also realized that we actually have quite a few mutual friends via CIU. i just got the ciu magazine this week and saw your picture. just a little intro so im not a "stranger" anymore. needless to say when i read this post my heart sank for you... i want to come over and feed these babies. i actually went to school for a year at scott theological college in machakos kenya and while i was there i took care of abandoned babies so this just hit home even more. since being in kenya i have become a mom and that makes my heart break even more for these starving babies (not just the ones that you are caring for, but the thousands around the world). please let me know if there is anything i can do to help you... how are you getting your formula? you know part of me is jealous that you are holding those sweet babies... i want to be there doing the same. praying for you and your sweet family!