30. First – 31 days TZ

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There is a big list of “firsts” every time that phone call comes.

The call from the government hospital. There is another baby waiting. Sometimes in the flurry of it all, or depends on who is making/receiving the call, questions get forgotten.

Boy or girl? Newborn or older? Premature?

Sometimes we don’t have the answers.

A bag gets put together. Pampers, wipes, clothes, pajamas, hat, blanket. It’s like you’re getting ready to deliver, except you know this baby is already there, waiting and alone.

We hop in the car and head to the hospital. Thinking, wondering about the circumstances. Were they abandon? Outside or at the hospital? Or did the mother die? Why are they left alone? IMG_20140312_131908

We arrive at the government hospital. Always full with people waiting everywhere. Patients waiting for care. Families waiting to visit their loved ones. We walk past and head up the hill to the infant/premature ward. We pass the open doors of rooms lined with bed after bed after bed.

IMG_20140327_090948Women with swollen bellies, waiting.

Children wrapped in bandages.

Babies connected to machines.

IMG_20140508_161053We arrive at the second to last door on the right and head in. They know who we are, they know why we’re here. They lead up to the child (or children, as for some reason recently we’ve been picking them up in sets of two- unrelated).

Usually, they’re so small. I can’t help but feel my heart jump in my throat. I careful change their nappy, and get them dressed. Wrap them up in the blanket and top them off with the hat. Then I hold them close, for some, the first time they’ve felt this.

IMG_20131010_180607We fill out the little paperwork there is. We receive the discharge form. We head back out to the car. Often people will congratulate me, thinking I’ve just given birth. It’s an odd feeling.

Once we get back to the orphanage, everyone is curious. Who is this baby? What is their story? We get them in the bath quick and change their clothes again. Then always its time for milk. It’s always a challenge, teaching a baby to use a bottle, especially those who had ever been breast fed.

IMG_20140626_174446The next few days everyone ooohs and awes over this new little bundle. And they become part of the temporary family. At least until their forever home can be found.

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8 thoughts on “30. First – 31 days TZ

  1. Pingback: 31 Day challenge | Send Kelly

  2. This speaks to my heart so much right now. My husband and I just got back from an orphanage in Haiti. There was a newborn there… this definitely isn’t a coincidence that I have stumbled upon reading this. God is so good.. Plus, we have friends who are from Tanzania! They said it’s the prettiest place in the world. Blessings, friend!

  3. I pictured every bit of this as I read it. I can’t imagine how hard it is to take on a newborn(s) in addition to all the other things you have to do and places you have to go but God certainly has given you a gift and I praise Him for people like you in this world!

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