Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Annual Recap, Movie Style

I put together a short 8 minute video of my experiences in Thailand from the pictures I’ve taken.
I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Abandoned Babies

How a mother could look at this face and say, "I think I'll just sell him to someone in Bangkok," is beyond me. That was the response of this little boy's mother as we were encouraging her to keep her baby, at which point we were happy to take him. He was 5 days old. He is Burmese, and the same ethnic group as one of our staff members, so we asked her to name him. He has a traditional Wa name: Mong Doon, or just "Doon" for short.

He has no other family that we're aware of, so we realize that we're in this for the long haul. We have enough involvement in the community to know that this need may be presented to us again in the future, and we want to be ready to respond. We're also aware that mothers occasionally leave their babies at the clinic after giving birth, and that the Burma Children Medical Fund could use help caring for babies while a parent is receiving medical treatment. All of this has pointed to us opening a new "Infant Home". We have already rented a house, and are currently working on hiring the staff for it. Until then, Doon is staying with a wonderful family who has just joined us from California. He's now a month old, he sleeps well (most nights!), he loves being held, and he's getting bigger every day.

Su Su will also join our new baby home when it's ready. She is about three months old, and she's an absolute miracle. She was born with Harlequin Syndrome, an incredibly rare skin condition that is almost always fatal at birth. She fought through infections and seizures, shed her layer of thick, red scales, and is growing stronger and stronger. She was born with her eyes swollen shut, and her fingers and toes were black and webbed together. Her mother left at the first sight of her.

Because we have a good relationship with Mae Tao Clinic, we became aware of Su Su's situation. We took her to Chiang Mai to get her as much medical attention as we could, and we visited her daily in the hospital to hold her and feed her. She finally became well enough to go home, so she went home with our staff member who has a background in nursing. Su Su requires a lot of treatment to keep her skin from hardening, and she needs to be loved like any other child. We have dreams of her being able to grow and play with other little girls, to wear dresses and feel beautiful, and to have a future.

You can read more of baby Su Su's story HERE.

It's amazing to me how much emotion can be had for such a small person. Maybe it's the way they're created into being, how they enter the world so ready to love and be loved, and how there is so much possibility surrounding their new life. I'm so thankful that I can be part of these lives unfolding.