A Reunion

It was an odd phone
call from another agency. Could we locate a mother that had given birth to her
son at Gentle Hands and had given him up for adoption?

It seemed to me
there must have been a mistake. At the time of the birth, Gentle Hands had not been
involved in adoptions, just birthing services under the supervision of my mom,
Denie Heppner.

A quick phone call to my mom with the only details I knew. She
thought for a moment and suddenly remembered. She knew the whole story, why the
baby had been surrendered at placed for adoption at
birth. Through an old midwife, we were able to locate the birth mother and the
“meeting” was set.

The adoptive parents had come to the Philippines to pick up their newest adopted daughter. They were from Norway and spoke
a little English, Samuel spoke only Norwegian. I knelt beside the birth mother and translated her many questions into simple English. The adoptive parents were so very pleased to
meet her. Somehow, they wanted to assure her of their love for her little boy.
There was no mistaking their love. The bonding was evident.

 Little Samuel?
Although he had been the one requesting the “meeting”, he sat on his adoptive
mother’s lap and observed. For the past few months, he had been curious,
demanding almost, to know about his mother. Something in his spirit was
unsettled. He needed to meet her. With tears streaming down her face, she
hugged him and told him how much she loved him and that he held a special place
in her heart. He nodded and looked for reassurance from his adoptive mom.
Samuel_and_moms

 And so, a birth
mother was reunited with her son, even if only for a few moments. But in those
few mom
ents, through her tears, she saw the fruit of that painful decision. Her
baby was loved and cared for. He had a future, and a hope she could never have
given him. She had been completely selfless and sacrificing and now, 7 years
later, she saw him, healthy, strong, happy, and oh! So loved. Little Samuel
will always know that he was not “rejected”.  While he may not have understood the emotion
all of us adults had, he will someday look back and he will know. The sacrifice
of love was real.

 Matching
families and children is a very difficult job. There is so much responsibility,
much paperwork, and there are sometimes other factors that come into play. So
much is unknown. For me personally, much prayer is spent before I go to look at
files of families. The decision is forever. As I relive this particular reunion,
I see how God in His grace, His wisdom, and His love, made this match. I am so
honored to be a part of the adoption process and see the miracle of His love
proved over and over again as waiting children are placed with parents whose
hearts are longing to love a child.

Thank
you for your support of Gentle Hands ministry both financially and in prayer.
Please continue to share our stories and raise up partners so we can continue
to do this very important work among the children of the  Philippines.

Efren, an update

Efren came to us a year and a half ago. He was found
abandoned in a garbage cart, weak and very sick. After hospitalization and much
discussion with doctors, he was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Thalassemia
Major. He would need a blood transfusion every month unless help could be
found.

After denial by Social Services to have Efren treated in the USA,
we exhausted all other avenues. No doctor would operate on him, his spleen
unbelievably enlarged.

Now, the wonderful doctor who has been helping us keep Efren
alive, has decided it is just not fair to this little boy to do any more transfusions.
His little body can’t take it any more.

And so we wait.Efren_solo_2

He has good days and bad days. Sometimes he gets nose bleeds
that last for a long time. But he is so brave.

He laughs and plays on some days, and on others just sits
quietly. The weight of his enlarged belly makes play difficult but he is such a
trooper. Every time I see him he leans his head on my leg and soaks up any
attention he can get.

No child deserves to be this sick for so long.

But I am thankful he is at Gentle Hands. He knows he is special and
valuable to his caregivers. He is loved, snuggled, and taken care of. And he
knows that Jesus loves him.