Dear Family and Friends March 24, 2007
The hottest part of the dry season has been slow in coming this year and we are very thankful for this. The temperatures reach 100+ in our house each afternoon the but the evenings are still cooling down so that we are able to sleep well.
We have received news from the family who is hosting Grace and she is doing very well. She is gaining weight, gaining strength, and growing; she can now turn from her stomach to her back and then back to her stomach again; she is laughing and smiling and trying to talk; she is reaching and grabbing for toys; all of which she was not doing at 8 months of age when she left here to go to the States for medical care. Because of being premature, Grace was not growing and gaining weight because her little body was not able to digest protein. She also has developed asthma which also is rather normal for premature babies. But, with special formula and asthma treatment, Grace is growing and thriving.
Right now we are fighting for the life of another of our little ones, Therese. Therese came to the orphanage in January with a ‘heart program’ but because of limited technology and expertise here, we did not know just how sick Therese was. About a week ago, Therese came down with a fever and needed to be hospitalized. Within just 2 days, Therese was having difficulty breathing and had become very weak. We took Therese to see Dr Zala, a pediatrician that we know and trust in Ouayaghuia who confirmed that Therese has an enlarged heart that he feels is treatable by surgery but that this surgery is not possible here in Burkina. He also stressed that Therese would not live much longer without this surgery.
We had tried to send Therese to the US in January for treatment but because we cannot get a clear and accurate diagnosis, it is difficult to get a doctor to write a letter of invitation for a case like this. But, with renewed urgency we again contacted Lending Light Ministries in the Boston area and asked whether there was any chance of getting Therese to the States.
God is in control and His timing is perfect! In just one week, we have secured letters from a doctor and a hospital in the States, we have a signed parental consent from Therese’s parents and Therese has received her Burkina Faso passport. The only remaining things needed are her US visa and the money for air tickets for Therese and an escort. With the grace and favor of the Lord, Therese will be in the States within a week or 10 days from now.
We received a call this week from the national office of Social Action asking whether we had room for 2 more children. These children have lost both their mother and their father and the aunt who is caring for them works in a bar. She works from 1 in the afternoon until 2 or 3 in the morning. The aunt takes the 18 month old baby to work with her and leaves the 5 year old boy at home, usually alone. The little boy was found on the streets by a Social Action Agent and that is how they became aware of the difficult situation of these children.
Our house is already full but how can we turn away these children? Even though my head says that we do not have the room, my heart cannot turn these children away. So, next Tuesday, our family will increase by two more children.
The work of processing adoptions, both international and national, continues to consume a good portion of my time. We have 4 adoptions still in process, 2 to France, 1 to Italy, and one to a local Burkinabé couple. We have received requests for a child from 2 new Burkina couples and one couple from the States. What a joy it is to prepare a child for an adoptive family and then to see them introduced and integrated into their new family!
We received a note and photos from Paul and his parents in France this week. Paul is 4 years old now and by his photo he looks like he has grown 6 inches or more. His mama wrote that he loves to study, to color, and to ride with his bike. He is speaking fluent French and learning his letters and numbers.
We also regularly receive notes and photos from the parents of Jacques in France and Stephane in America. Both of these boys are also doing well in their families and have grown a lot.
I must close for now. The mechanic just came by to pick up my truck for some minor repairs. Some friends from Washington DC are coming in this evening and we are leaving tomorrow for a 5 day trip to Mali. We are going to visit Dogon Country and then continue to Timbuktu. I am looking forward to a little time away for rest and also to seeing these tourist sights.
Blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma