Friday, September 9, 2016

When I heard her story, I dug in my heels and refused to budge.

We had planned home visits that day, and most of the moms in our program are level 1 poverty. Which means we normally call the village leader, who then will let the mom know we are coming, or a neighbor. We got a phone call that morning on our way to our first home visit. A call that another mom had taken her twins to the hospital the night before, and they were very sick. I couldn't concentrate much that first home visit, and was itching to get to the hospital.

G, from the very start was a very attentive momma. 

 I knew we would get there outside visiting hours, so I had our papers with me from the government of who was in our program. Something that I could find out what was going on, outside of conventional visiting hours, because we still had work to do.

When we talked to the guard at the front of the hospital, he said he knew who we were talking about, and then took us to her room. (More less a large room with around 30-50 patients in a dorm style lines of beds) The mosquito netting was over her bed, and we pulled it back, and I saw a mom stare blankly and confused at me, with clearly newborn twins in the bed with her. "No, this isn't the mom in our program. The mom in our program, her name is _________, and her twins are girls and a few months old."

We did find the mom in our program, which is another story for another day. I have never known the power of prayer, than the other mom taught us. But as we saw her, the nurse begged us practically to see another mom with twins. We told her how the local government gives us the moms/infants in our program. That we dont just choose who is in the program. But we had a couple nurses, ask us to see this mom, and just listen to her story. Finally we agree'd and I insisted that we do not just take people into the program, and the local sector had to assign us, based on poverty levels, and situations.

Right back to the first confused mom we walked into. I extended my hand and introduced myself, and was met with a blank continued stare of confusion. Now just as confused as she was, I turned to the nurse, and now a Dr who joined us at her bedside.

We were so blessed to secure sponsors for each twin for formula, and also a sponsor
for G herself. The sponsors love supplies the babies with all the nutritional needs,
future health insurance, and beyond. The moms sponsor has helped us to get G on her feet,
get her the basics she needs, as she was left with nothing, and also keep up with her
medical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. 
She was left at the hospital months ago, beaten. She had shown signs of severe trauma, and also delusions. They were not sure of her name. She obviously was pregnant when she was left at the hospital about 5 months prior, pregnant. She 2 weeks prior had given birth to twins. A boy and a girl. Her family have abandoned her. No one was really sure what to do. In that moment, and seeing the loneliness in her eyes. I felt my heels dig into the ground. I knew I would fight for her. I would fight hard. I would not abandon her also.

The hospital's here are not like they are in the states. Where someone has to be with you, to help you. They do not feed you, or provide sheets, blankets, clothes, etc. So the next day when we went to visit the mom in our program, we also packed some baby stuff for this new unnamed mama and her twins. We bought food for both moms. In a couple days, she began talking to us, sometimes it made sense, other times it didn't. We all knew that the care she needed was beyond this hospital, and beyond us. So we made plans to have her transferred to a hospital in Kigali that specialized in this kind of thing. The only thing was, we couldn't bring the babies to the hospital, and the mom had been completely abandoned by her family. So we made the decision to bring the newborn twins home and foster them ourselves, while she got the specialized care she needed in Kigali.
When we fostered the twins at home, we had many
middle of the night parties. These two like to party all night.
It made for some interesting times, doing home visits completely exhausted.
I can't keep up with these youngen's, and their all nighters. 

It has been amazing to watch this older mom come out of her shell. To see her go from being mute, to smiling, joking, and laughing with us. When she was in the hospital, one day I said to her "Wow, you look great today, I am so happy to see you smiling." and she responded with "It is because someone now comes to see me." Now she lives next door, and we have been able to give her some supervised and guided independence.

When G got out of the hospital in Kigali, and was reunited with her twins.
She had a contentness about her, that words cannot explain. 
"What has the program done for you?"

G: "Because of my medicine, I cannot breast the babies. The sponsors love me and my babies, and give them formula, bottles, and help me to live. I am happy, and am not hungry. I have a good life now, and I have no fear for my babies. They are not hungry either."

"What are your goals for the future?"

G: "I hope to learn to read and write, then learn to sew. I want to do more. I know I can do more. I wont let my sponsors down. I will do good, and study hard! When I learn to write, I may write a book someday."

"I think your story could encourage so many people, you should do that! I want to get the first copy!"

G, will be part of the literacy program that will take place at the office on Fridays, when we secure the funding! Also as you see from G's story, we have many unexpected expenses that come up. Especially as a mom and infants first come into the program, we struggle with hospitalizations, getting their insurance secured, etc. And even when they have their insurance, it doesn't cover things like medications (even in hospital.) and they are often handed scripts of what to go find for their babies. Often that script is about a weeks or months wages. To use it cane seem like a few drops in the bucket, some coffee for us and a friend.

We are trying to raise $2,500 to secure the literacy program for 6 months, and also help some moms/dads who have the basic literacy skills to start vocational school, so we can start to give them the tools to be independent. Any money over that will go to emergency funds, for situations just like the one above. With G, we ended up paying a few hundred dollars for her 6 month hospital stay, and then paying her hospital stay in Kigali out of pocket. She still has no health insurance, as she has to secure her ID, (which we did), but then she has to be living in this sector for six months before she can get her insurance through this sector. And no one knows what sector she came from before. So all her and her twins medical needs are paid out of pocket. Thankfully we have secured three sponsors for G, one for each twin, and one for her herself, since her situation is so unique.

Having the ability to read and write, will empower G. It will give her self confidence. It will give her something to work toward. It will also give her more power over her future, to even be able to sign a lease and know what is in it. To be able to help her twins as they grow, in school, and even to read the papers that come home with them. To be able to sign her own name.

In their current home next door they share with another mom in our program
who has triplets! (Its a lively house next door!). Now with the basics of a roof over
her head, the basic nutritional needs of her infants taken care of, emotional support,
the medications she needs, and always lots of laughter, she is ready for the next step.
To learn to read and write, so she can be empowered to take even yet another step. 
To see a breakdown of the funding we are trying to secure for September to start in October you can go HERE.

To make a tax deductible donation to help with the literacy program/vocational schooling click HERE. 

Every little bit helps, and we cannot do this without you. We need your help!

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