My family has grown (again)

Alberto sleeping in his moses basket on my bed

Well, here we are a little over a week later and I have another little tyke to add to my family. This is Alberto. He's 4.5 months old and pretty malnourished (I know you are suprised). Some of you will recognize this story from a previous prayer request....we have a few more details and I'm going to wait for the rest as well, cause something's not adding up. Anyway, he is right at 8 lbs and it seems to be a pretty recent weight loss and the malnutrition is in the beginning stages, cause he chugs his bottle like it's better than sliced bread (which for him it is) and then cries for more. We're praying with a little TLC, he'll stay healthy and just gain weight. He is a super smiley baby boy who loves to laugh and talk. We recieved him this afternoon around 1pm and we have been playing all day. I'm going to take him pretty much all weekend during the day so I can increase his feeds slowly and see how he's doing before we integrate him into the baby house.

His mother came to the center last Thursday afternoon and tried to leave him at the gate. Luckily the guards caught her and called us. We brought her to the baby house and tried to talk to her, ask about her situation, the baby, ect. I looked the baby over and found him really clean, his skin gorgeous, and completely appropriate developmentally for his age. He had such a light in his eyes and a gorgeous smile. He was such a happy baby...just a "little" hungry (and really small for his age)!!! So we explained that we couldn't take him this late in the day, but we really wanted to help her out. She was to come back the next day when our director would be back to admit the baby, we fed the baby while there, made sure she had warm clothes and blankets, gave her 4 full bottles for the night, chapa (the bus) money to get home and to come back in the morning. We didn't want her to leave him and then never see her again....this way, in the morning, we would take the baby, and send one of our tias back with her to see where she lives (so we can stay in contact as well as get a little more information about their situation).

The next day (Fri), Alberto and his mother showed up again, but this time she was a little reluctant to leave the baby. Great, we thought! We don't want to take the baby, we want to help you. We placed the baby on the milk program so they could both see a doctor each week (usually it is every other, but in some cases...) and recieve free formula, education on how to mix, how much to feed, support breastfeeding/increase milk production, ect; weekly weight check, and chapa money to get here/home. We put the mom on our food program to help supplement her existing budget with nutritous and healthy staples. We stressed that if she got desperate, or was going to leave him at another center (cause we've recieved abused and kids just really bad off from other places) or dump him somewhere to please come back to us and we'll immeediately take the baby. She left and we all felt like this might work.

Today she just showed up with Alberto saying she had no place to live if she kept the baby cause her parents died, she was living with her grandparents who had already kicked her out with the baby, so she had been staying with a neighbor (as of the home visit we made this week). Today she told us that her grandparents came and took all her stuff for her and the baby and the neighbor won't have her with the baby anymore. So, for the time being at least, Alberto is ours. He has gained some weight since last Friday which is good! So tomorrow there will be another home visit and we'll find out even more (hopefully).

I guess I said something funny....

PS...you can't tell how scrawny he is from these pictures...I'll do better next time I promise.
We pray that we are given wisdom about the family situation, that we can strengthen the family (if possible) and reintegrate Alberto once he is healthier; that he will continue to grow and get stronger each day as he is fed and loved on. Let us not hinder his spirit, but continue to encourage the already bright fire and light in him, so he will become a strong warrior for Our Lord!

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