I met Huncie a mere two days ago, and yet I feel as though she has been apart of my heart and life for so much longer than that. She was on my mind as soon as I woke up in the morning, and I wondered if she was being fed and cared for. I have to wait the whole weekend before I will be able to check on her again, and it hurts my heart.
First thing yesterday morning, Mrs. Mimi and I went to buy baby formula and other necessities for Huncie. I felt like a proud momma as I picked bought starter baby food, bottles, and formula for the little girl. She is not mine, and can't be. I know that. But God has allowed me to be part of my life for this season, and I want to make the most of the time I am given. The can of formula I bought cost me only about $14, yet would cost a mother the equivalent of about 2 days of working. After about an hour and half of shopping, we ended up with three bags of baby essentials and went to pick up a friend took off for the creshe. It made my heart so happy to watch Ms. Kitty looking over the things we bought. She is the sweetest lady with a huge heart, and loves that baby girl like her own.
Official mom status?
Minutes later, Mrs. Mimi and Ms. Kitty went to get the baby, and ended up coming back with Huncie's mom, and two year old sister. Huncie's mother, Emily, seemed quite uncomfortable sitting with us at the creshe, yet she was gracious and allowed us to bathe and feed both Huncie and her sister.
It was obvious that the little girls were uncomfortable when they were not right next to their mother, and made me hope that it is not Ms. Emily's heart to neglect her children, but lack of knowing how. Yet, as Mrs. Mimi explained, young children are wired to love their parents no matter what, and she is probably the only one her girls are around on a consistent basis.
Ms. Kitty boiled water for a bath as little Huncie worked on finishing a bottle, and her sister and mother ate oranges and "fat cakes" - similar to unsweetened doughnuts.
I set out new clothes, diapers, baby lotion and soap for Huncie's bath, yet the poor baby was absolutely terrified of the water. She wailed and arched her back as I dipped her feet into the water, and was so distressed by it that I ended up laying her down on a blanket and just giving her a sponge bath. Still, she wailed and cried pitifully until we wrapped her up in a newborn size diaper that was nearly too large, and new, warm pajamas. We handed her back to her mother and she quickly fell asleep, worn out from the stress of the bath.
After asking Ms. Emily's permission, we also bathed Huncie's sister. We had set aside clothes for her as well, but forgot to get them out of the car. I hated to put the clothes she was wearing back on her - they were so dusty and honestly reeked, but we had no other option. After cleaning her up, I set her in my lap and breathed in the sweet smell of her now-clean head. We got another bowl of food for her, which she ate as she sat in my lap.
She seems somewhat delayed - she never made eye contact, was not very alert to her surroundings, and seemed fairly unaffected by what was going on around her. The only thing that I could tell she was focused on was her mother - the little girl seemed so tired, yet wouldn't let herself go to sleep. Ms. Kitty told me she was afraid that her mother was going to leave her.
A bit later, Ms. Emily stood up and told us that she was going to back to her house, but would come back later. I watched quietly as the three of them walked out of the creshe's gate and make their way down the dusty red road. After watching the mother interact with her children, I felt the tiniest bit more hopeful about their situation. Like mentioned earlier, Ms. Emily never showed any signs of obvious dislike toward her children during the time we were with her, and she did come back in the afternoon as she had promised. I'm praying and believing for a miracle in Emily's life, for healing and restoration for her and her girls. As Mrs. Mimi said, it is never the goal to break up the family, but to teach the mother how to be the mother.
We packed a baggie of formula and starter baby food and gave it to Ms. Emily for the weekend. Because it is in the baggie, it is harder to sell should the temptation or opportunity arise. And now I wait for Monday to see my little girl again, while I pray and believe for a miracle on her behalf. Our God is a God of redemption, and as I was reminded of this while reading Acts 9 this morning. God spoke to Ananias, telling him to go to Saul as God was in the process of bringing redemption to his life:
"The Lord said to Him, 'Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kinds and the sons of Israel..."
Emily, Huncie, and Huncie's sister are chose instruments of the Lord, and we proclaim healing over them in Jesus name.
Pray hard with me for Ms. Emily, Huncie, and her sister.