New Friends

Hello friends!  Surprised you haven’t stopped reading this yet.  My apologies for not updating this in the last few weeks…honestly, I’ve been THAT swamped with work, then for the last 2 wks the internet has been so insanely slow it was practically non-existent…for the last 4 days i couldn’t even upload/download emails…then there was just my lack of motivation. 

So here i am….to say goodbye to old friends and hello to new friends.

Twins, Catia (left) and Edsan (right) went home to live with their mom who just reappeared from SA and was ready to take them back.  We still have their 3 year old auntie, Admira (in the green), but are praying for their quick and successful reintegration at home….and that they stay healthy and safe.

We said goodbye (sort of) to:  Ryan, Jose, Arsenia, Rosa, and Albertina left the oldest tot room in the BH last week and went to live in Tracey’s toddler transition house for a year, before moving onto the “big kid” dorms.  We still see them lots (and i still cover them medically), but they don’t live with us in the BH anymore.

Lucia from the bercario (nursery) has been transitioning via morning play dates to the BH and will move on Thursday as she turns two in just 2 days!  So she’ll just change locations, but the bercario tias and kids will miss her a lot!!

We got two newbies I’d love to introduce to you and ask prayers for:

Alberto (pronounce: Al-burt-two)
He just turned 5 months a few days ago and he’s healthy and happy and chunky.  He loves to giggle and smile and drool and he loves sucking his thumb.  We are working on sitting in a tripod position but his belly gets a bit too much in the way for the moment.  He rolls just fine and pushes up on his belly.  That’s pretty much life for Alberto in the bercario (nursery).  His mother died 3 wks after his birth and his dad just needs a bit of help at the moment.  His 4 yr old sister is with us in the girl’s dorm as well. 

Fernanda (pronounce:  Fur-nan-duh)
She’s 15 months and only 16 lbs (7.36 kg) but much of that is water weight as she’s pretty sick with a type of malnutrition called kwashiorkor.  This just means that while she’s super skinny in her arms and chest area, she’s also super deficient in micro-nutrients, especially proteins, and her body has begun to have problems with circulation in her lower extremities.  She has skin breakdown (previous and current) on her legs and they are very swollen.  I’ve started her on rehydration feedings for the next 12 hrs and then she’ll be on a special, easy-to-digest-for-malnourished-babies, milk every 3 hrs around the clock for the next week till i get her fluid balance back in line, all the water she’s retaining that is making her feet and legs swell gone, and gaining some healthy weight.  She’s also on de-worming meds and 2 very powerful antibiotics plus lots of good multivitamins.  After a week we’ll start re-feeding her with normal formula and then slowly start reintroducing bland solid foods that are super healthy and choc-full of calories and minerals/nutrients she needs.
At the present she can sit up somewhat on her own, could once crawl, but hasn’t in months because she’s too weak, and apathetically cries without tears.  She also only speaks their tribal language and doesn’t understand my baby Portuguese.  Pray Fernanda will settle in quickly, that we will know how to treat her medically and find the cause of her rapid decline over the last 5 months (as previously she was amazing on her weight and then rapidly lost and is at a dangerous weight right now), that the tias will have endurance and strength to keep up with her very demanding feeding schedule and how hard it is to encourage these little ones to eat at all or not eat too fast at times (think LOTS of patience); that her very sick, in hospital mother with get healthy and be able to leave and go back home, that Fernanda will become healthy, grow stronger and gain weight each and every day, growing in God’s love and light here in the bercario.  She’s quite critical but stable at the moment and could use all the prayers you could lift up at the moment.  Also, at the moment all the bercario tots are with fevers and bad colds, so pray she will not catch this and stay as healthy as possible!  She has beautiful expressive eyes and reminds me of a female Dino when he came in to the center at first, very sick and malnourished.

Beetle Bug. (pronounce: bee-tahl buh)
oh no.  he’s not a friend.  though he has been hanging around my curtains for the last 24 hrs and gave me a bit of scare when i pulled them closed last night.  but i don’t consider ANYTHING creepy or crawly or slithery or furry and rodenty a friend (if it scurries…..i definitely don’t like it).  Funny that i live in Africa, yes….but we all have our limitations. 

Well I’m off to Swaziland for 5 days starting on Thursday.  This will be my first break in 3 months and I’m really way past due and exhausted.  Pray for safe travels, rest and refreshment in the Lord, and strengthening as for the next 3 months we will be on bare minimum (or worse) nursing staff and i will be working an astronomical amount.  Thank you in advance for ALL the prayers and support and encouragement.  I could not do this without each of ya’ll!


Melissa said...

love that picture of you holding sweet little fernanda. you can just sense how much is being communicated to her simply by being wrapped up in loving arms, even if she doesnt understand the words you say.

erin said...

oddly enough....she can't understand me...she only speaks her tribal language and that I do NOT speak, but I believe she's learning a bit of my Portuguese every day....She loves to snuggle and rightfully so! Sweet Princess.