Sunday, September 10, 2006

Big BRIGHT News!!!!!!

Please meet baby Bright, our intended future son!!! Bright is 11 months old and is at the orphanage in Ho Hoe, Volta Region, Ghana. We've known about Bright for almost a week but we had to make sure everything was official before sharing about him.

We feel incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to bring this little one into our family. If he comes home to us, we will name him Brighton. =-)

It is hard to see with his clothes on (we have a naked picture) but Bright is very malnourished. He is dealing with a serious form of malnutrition called Kwashiorkor. With Kwashiorkor a child may be getting close to adequate calories, but is deficient in protein. It's worse than if he were deficient in both calories and protein (oddly enough).

Bright's birth mother died during child birth, and his father did his best to care for him and his three older siblings these past several months. The week before Lois and I went to the orphanage he brought Bright to Mama Eugenia and asked her to take him because he was dying of malnutrition. At that time Mama Eugenia had no resources to care for a baby, let alone a malnourished baby, and had to send the father and baby away. The next week Lois and I came and let Mama Eugenia know that LVI would make sure they had the resources to care for any children that came to them (including babies).

The day before we left Ghana, Ernest (Mama Eugenia's son and the adminstrator of the orphanage) came to see us and in that meeting he shared with Lois and I about the baby that they had to turn away the week before. He shared his joy that they could now go to that father and let him know there was a place for the baby at the orphanage. At that time Ernest said, "Anita, this is YOUR baby."

I had been through too much at the time to get very excited about possibilities. My heart was in mourning for Juliet and Emmanuel. I was excited at the thought of a "new referral" but my heart was guarded. Never count your chickens before they've hatched you know. =-) Ernest shared with me that they planned to take the baby in the following week (my first week home from Ghana) and he hoped to write with information on the following weekend.

Last weekend was a LONG weekend! And no news or pictures came. I wasn't too disappointed because I knew a million things could have kept this baby from coming into the orphanage's care. Maybe the birth father found a way to care for him? Maybe the baby died? Maybe he was taken by a different orphanage? Of all the scenarios going through my mind the one that didn't come was that maybe Ernest just couldn't get his email to go through! That was the reality of the situation! So finally on Monday night Lois received information on Baby Bright from Ernest.

When I first saw him all I could focus on was how sick he is. You can't tell it in the picture above but he is very sick. But as the hours went by I found myself falling more and more in love with him despite my best efforts to protect my heart. I have determined that I am unable to NOT fall in love with a child I might adopt--even when there is a good chance that child could die before I can get him home. So I just have to love him the best I can and deal with the loss later if he doesn't make it home to us. In fact, I have told the Lord that I take Bright as my son, even if he never comes home to us. He doesn't have another mother in this world to love him, so I will be her even if he never gets to feel that love in person. I am completely and utterly committed to this baby boy!

Lois is going to do everything she can to expedite things in Ghana, and then it will be my turn to do everything I can to expedite things with US Immigration. We hope for Bright's sake, that he is in the US by the end of the year so that he can get the medical treatment he needs. They are doing everything they can in Ghana, but "everything they can" in Ghana is quite sub-par with everything we can do in America.

Please pray with us that Bright is forever united with our family through adoption, that HE is the child that the Lord has brought us to after all of the twists and turns in this adoption journey.