As I gazed at the young girl bending over the crib and smiling at her baby, I struggled with emotions. Yesterday, I had been angry and incredulous that someone could abandon her baby at the hospital where there was so little comfort or concern given. Now as I watched this teenage girl smiling at her baby, I wondered if I had been too harsh.
I continued to watch the girl struggle to feed her baby. She precariously held a spoon of potatoes over her prone baby and attempted to get the food into the baby's mouth without it falling onto the bed or choking the baby. She was trying... but had no idea how to care for her little blessing. I tentatively walked over to her, braving the stench that rose from her body and offered her a smile. I asked if I could feed another baby with her and set about modeling to her how I fed my baby. She watched me carefully as I propped my baby up and fed her with the spoon. She smiled and copied me. I chatted to her with my limited Romanian and she did so with hers.
I remember showing her how to clean her baby up after feeding and changing his diaper. She smiled appreciatively for the tips and for the courtesy that I was extending to a gypsy- something that rarely happens in the country. We forged a bond that day and when I explained to her later that the only reason her baby had diapers, wipes and cereal was because my ministry was providing it, concern rose in her eyes! You see, she thought that her baby would be better cared for in a state run, Romanian hospital than in her village. Sometimes that is true, but in this case, it was not. This young teenage girl made an adult decision and took her baby home that day.
And I learned something that day, as well. Every person has a story and it shapes their decisions. Sometimes those decisions are based out of selfishness, but sometimes they aren't. It might not look smart, loving or selfless to us outsiders, but not knowing the story we cannot not judge. When a woman leaves her child at the maternity hospital hours after birth it could just be that there is a physically and sexually abusive husband at home and she desperately wants to keep this baby safe. And when she makes this decision, it becomes our responsibility to care for that baby and love on her and keep her safe.
Thank-you for the part you have in that in supporting this Ministry!
~from the Heart~ Mona
Project Hope for the Children is a non-profit ministry that seeks to mobilize the generosity of donors to provide for the tangible needs of orphans, disadvantaged children, and at-risk families in Romania, Puerto Rico, and Beyond.