09 December 2014

Meet Sarah and Maggie... and Daka!

Hey yall, 

I've talked briefly about how we've added a few new children this year.  So I wanted to introduce two of them to you.  We started Sprouts Baby Home over a year ago with four babies.  Here's the first picture we were able to snap after all were home and healthy from being in and out of hospitals....

Lucy, Moses, Maria and Ryan

It was more of a "pilot home" where we could start with four, four that are all completely different cases and then learn through each case for when we build a bigger home to house more.  Our focus is to take in extreme cases that have been neglected, abandoned, abused and or malnourished.  Some have been treated this way due to the way they were born and most are due to living in extreme poverty usually having no parents.  Our vision is to take in birth-2 years old and making exceptions for when a child is 5 or under and severely malnourished to the point of not being able to walk.  We brought in Maria, who was less than 3 pounds at the time.  She was 51 days the day we finally got her out of the hospital.  She had been through two rounds of antibiotics due to the traffic that went through the NICU and she had not gained anything since being born.  She was abandoned and basically just needed to be out of the hospital and cared for.  Lucy was severely malnourished and has cerebral palsey.  She was neglected and abandoned due to her condition.  Ryan was severely malnourished and abandoned for unknown reasons.  Moses was days, if not hours, away from dying due to malnourishment and abandonment.  He was around 6 months when he was rescued.  He had brain damage from what we think is a combination of meningitis and his glucose being too low.  We've seen so much healing happen in this sweet babe in the past year though.  Since taking in the four cases, we have learned so much as far as how many aunties need to be hired per so many babies, feeding schedules, the medical aspect and when to transition them out.  In August of this year, we were able to transition Ryan from Sprouts into a Mattaw home.  He's doing amazing!  When we got him at around 2 1/2 years old, he couldnt walk and hardly said any words.  
He is now big and strong, has outgrown everyone his age and can have a conversation with you ALL DAY LONG.  The boy loves talking now!  He's very active and loves to run and swing.  We are so thankful for his miraculous healing. 

His brothers now in the family he's in at Mattaw (Brison, Kevin and Ryan)

And now to share more details on our two newest treasures.  They were hidden away in a slum on the outskirts of Kitale town.  As we transitioned Ryan to Mattaw, we had space open up in Sprouts.  I wasn't (exactly) searching to fill the space but did I ever have it in the back of my mind (and heart).  As you may know, we have a girls home that we bring in girls ages 8-12 that were in extreme sexual or physical abuse.  I had a call from a social worker in a slum around Kitale that wanted to refer cases to me of girls that would likely fit our requirements to be placed in Kimbilio girls home.  I went with one of our previous managers, David, and the social worker from a catholic organisation. (David has now moved to Colorado with his wife! All good  :).  More on that later but we sure miss him!).  Anywho,     We went to one house of the girls being referred to us and well, that was a long story of its own.  Involves people being in prison, many injustices, teens turning to sex for food and a false prophet. So after going there, we intended to go to a girls home that is 13 years old but on the way we passed an area where the social worker we were with said "you remember in March I told you of a four year old girl that's paralysed and her mom is a drunkard?"  And of course I remembered and have often thought of her and prayed.  So she goes on to share that we were about to be by the place and if I wanted to see the case.  Well, yes, of course!  It was one of those moments of love never turns away from a baby in need.  There's times I just know in my core that it's a ordained time to bring hope and life to a child.  (aka, Holy Spirit is on the move).  We went down a few crazy bumpy roads and over sewage that runs through the slum.  We reached a point we had to park and get out and walk.  We walked through some narrow sketchy ally ways and came to the mud room where we found our little treasures.  The problem was, one was so hidden way, she was actually wrapped up in what the mom says was for therapy (since Sarah can't walk).  But she was tied in, had poop running out the sides of her legs and down the box and it was tipped over.  

Not only did we find the little four year old, Sarah, but we found her baby sister, Maggie, crying on the bed hungry and also sitting in her waste.  There was no one else there and the neighbour quickly came to find us and said the mom is a drunkard and is out finding a way to get more alcohol.  We could see the girls through the small wood framed window so without giving it a second thought, we busted through the door.  Thankfully that wasn't so hard, otherwise they were about to see quite the scene of me going through that window!  We got inside and at first had to check if Sarah was even breathing.  It seemed when she fell, she passed out.  Thankfully she slowly woke up but was completely lifeless.  Maggie on the other hand had some lungs and was screaming.  As soon as David picked her though, she was so calm and at peace.  

We quickly worked to get Sarah untied from all the scrap pieces of cloth that held her in this wooden box.

  Once she was free, we heard the mom coming.  We were warned she might want to fight us but thankfully the peace that surpasses understanding came into the room and once she saw we were there to help, in her drunken state she became sorrowful.  She knew the social worker and had been assisted through their organisation but she had not been responsible with what she was helped with.  When we explained who we are and what we do, she asked we take Sarah and not Maggie.  We agreed to that and went through all the proper procedures to get Sarah in our care legally.  We were at one point sent to the child protection unit at the police station and when sharing the story, they immediately wrote out paper work and orders to go arrest the mom and asked if we could accept the baby as well.  They arrested the mom that day and put the baby in prison with the mom until a court date would happen.  

While waiting for Maggie to also be placed in our care, we brought Sarah home to Sprouts baby home and started to pour out love and care on her.  At first she wasn't moving her arms and legs but as the day went on, she began to move.  When given a banana (pictured above), she was so hungry and wanted to eat but because of the extreme malnourishment, she couldn't lift her hand to eat anymore and fell asleep.  She wasn't talking either but after about 5 days, she started to say a word or two.  It was like taking a dead plant and watering it daily and watching it come back to life.  But the water to bring her back to life involved a lot of love and simply feeding her properly.  I will never forget hearing that sweet laugh for the first time!  She was a miracle indeed and what a treasure!   

With Maggie, it took about a week or more and one court hearing after another until we thankfully had Maggie placed in our care.  We realised that what seemed like a long time for here actually was a quick process compared to all the red tape you find in other western countries.  So we were thankful!  The day we got her was the week we had our home church here.  They had been praying for this precious one so it was such a beautiful story of redemption for them to see while having them here.    

 For the first couple of months, Maggie was not happy very often.  From what we gathered, not only was the alcoholic mother breastfeeding her but she would also give her alcohol to take away hunger pains and get her to sleep.  So we had to endure a fussy baby being weaned off alcohol.  She also would be full but if she saw food, she would freak out and want it regardless of how full she was.  Sarah on the other hand was happy as could be while Maggie demanded much attention. This picture about sums up from September to November.

Now, currently, we have two VERY happy and healthy girls.  Sarah is still unable to walk but we have a physical therapist coming three times a week to work with her and he is very hopeful that in the next year she can walk.  Here's the most recent pictures of the girls take a few weeks ago.

I also wanted to share more with you about "Daka".  If you've kept up with us, you know that Rebecca came to volunteer with Mattaw back in January and stayed up until last month.  During that 10 months, it was clear to us all that after her taking a break in the states for a few months, that she would come back to be part of the Mattaw family long term.  She will return in January as our Sprouts Baby Home manager.  She has been a HUGE help this past year in helping oversee the babies.  She is a nurse as well which has also been huge in helping with the babies and all their medical needs they have.  As we continue to lay out the plans and vision to build a bigger Sprouts Baby Home, Rebecca will help in a huge way with this.  We are thankful to have her part of the team!  So why I call her Daka is because that's what the babies started calling her and I think it's the cutest thing ever.  The babies absolutely adore her!  We are all missing her!

From here on, Rebecca will be the main person to update about our babies, so we would love for you to add her blog to your pages you visit often.  

Now that's an update for ya!  More to come about Christmas and our recent visits with some of the Mattaw children to their relatives. 


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