First of all, as I suspected, we're no longer number one in line. This, of course, is because of the loss of Forrest's precious baby girl that died from pneumonia. The World Health Organization states that pneumonia is the single biggest killer of children under the age of five worldwide. And a research study from 2004 states that undernutrition is an underlying cause of childhood deaths associated with illnesses such as pneumonia, malaria, and others. As I talked about after Joner's little Julia died, even though it is painful, I am so thankful to be a part of something that allows me to not be numbed by the statistics of "millions dying in Africa." These precious little girls represent so many others, and yet are deeply personal and individual. Two families (and more!) are grieving intensely for them. We are so sad for Hillary and Jacob and Jessica and Jason, but we are happy as well--that the Joners are now waiting to pick up their two little ones, the Forrests will be at that place very soon, and the rest of us realize that there are more to statistics then numbers .
We also found out from our monthly conference call with America World that there will be a lull with referrals over the next few weeks. The transitional home is at capacity and until families pick up their kiddos, there is no room to bring new little (or big!) ones in. This, of course, means that we will most definitely have to pay the $4000 or so in extra fees. We're planning on this, anyway (although we really don't know how to plan!) People can still give to our Lifesong for Orphans account and we're going to do one last push with our t-shirts and we'll just tackle the rest little by little. I know the Lord will provide in His way! This lull means that we shouldn't expect to hear anything the rest of this month. This is disappointing (obviously!) but it also helps me to know where we're at and not get my hopes up unneccesarily.
And that leads me to the last piece of information. Apparently, having said what I said about nothing happening the rest of the month, here are the notes Karen took from the conference call yesterday regarding two baby girls in the transitional home:
One child was extremely malnourished and she was not able to be referred yet. Another one doesn’t have paperwork ready; we have to assure she’s adoptable (a true orphan).
Do you see why this news makes yesterday an emotional roller coaster? If these children make it through...one of them will be part of our forever family! Of course, there are so many ifs, but it sure gives us reasons to pray fervently and hope. Kole and I had a discussion, specifically, about the malnourished little girl in the orphanage right now. I was telling him about what this could mean--that this little baby could be his little sister--and even if it wasn't, here was a precious baby girl that needs our prayers...and Kole, my precious, sensitive Kole, started getting emotional. We prayed right then and there for this little one that could be ours, but, no matter what, is a child of God and needs people fighting for her. I don't think I will ever forget this moment as I held Kole in my arms and we prayed for a little child around the world.
So, that's a lot to process, isn't it? Thanks for your continued prayers. This weekend is going to be full and wonderful--the boys camping with Grandma and Grandad, Karl and his brother up in Michigan helping his mom move, and me running my first 5K, having dinner and watching a musical with my best friend, dancing and participating in the Feast of Tabernacles celebration at her church...whew! I get excited just thinking about it. And here's something else that got me excited during yesterday's emotional day--look what came in the mail (don't the girl colors look AMAZING?!?):