An already sleepless night and the knock on my door finds me awake. It is 4am and Baby Lex is not breathing well. He is in obvious distress. I run down the stairs. “Baby, hold on.” Oxygen doesn’t help. He is fighting. He won’t stop crying but he won’t stop looking at me. He is exhausted and unable to rest. August 09 093

A million questions run through my mind. Just yesterday we celebrated that his diahrea had stopped and he had gained a whole kilogram. He had laughed a little and shown just a peek of his lovely personality. But this morning, he was in anguish. After two hours of deliberation, the painful decision was made to take him to hospital. There are standard practices done here such as suctioning and intubating that we long ago decided we would never subject a baby to again. It makes hospitals not the first resort, but the last

Now, unsure if we are doing the right thing, we agree he needs an IV with antibiotics. That is our only hope. There are schedules to be made up- no one is ever left in the hospital without someone to monitor and take care of them. That is not done by nurses here. There are other crisis and babies to be cared for and monitored here at GH, so I opt to send Ezekiel and our Australian volunteers.

I kiss his tiny cheeks and hand him to Amy (one of the volunteers) and they leave in a taxi.

Though I am aware of miracles, I am unsure how I feel. We didn’t get him soon enough, perhaps. They left him too long without getting help. And now 24 hours after being on an IV, he is still in crisis. He is not yet responding to any treatment and he is so very weak. The medial terms and countless discussions swirl in my head. This precious child has suffered so much already. I know how to distance myself to deal with crisis- in sickness and in death. But something about little Lex does not allow me to shut my emotions down. As I monitor his care by cell phone and text, my heart is heavy. How long will he fight to live?

Sweet baby Lex. God has a plan for your life. The responsibility of these little ones is great but just as I was sure of God’s hand in bringing little Lex to us, I am sure of God’s hand to hold him.

I can’t catch my breath.

I can’t breathe in this little house.

There is no food. There is no milk. There is nothing.

I can’t take my eyes off of the naked two year old that cannot walk.

I can’t bear to look at the three year old that doesn’t speak yet.

They are weak and listless, like their mother.

They are starving.

I can’t speak without my voice shaking. Intake jennalexis

I cannot promise them he will live.

( He is 6 months old and only 6.5 pounds)

They nod. (They would have to be blind and deaf to not know.)

I leave the house. My heart pounding in my chest.

When have I felt such desperation?

I have no answers. I have only questions.

I know there are thousands of children like this. I know it seems hopeless and endless. I know I am only one insignificant person touching only a few.

But this child is now in my arms. This child is suddenly mine to care for and to fight for.

I am frantic for him to live.

With trembling fingers, I stroke his tiny face.

I am aware suddenly, of the warm, steady hands that hold mine.

It is not I that hold life and death but these strong, gentle hands that take the responsibility and yes, the heaviness from me.

O God. Have mercy on this precious child. Your will be done.