Little Jonalyn was born premature at 8 months we are told, December 8, 2005. Now, at 3 months old, she is coming to us after 9 days in a hospital… a concerned citizen desperate to see the baby get help.
As we hold her, she looks strangely old. She seems so fragile. It is not just being premature that has caused suffering for this little one. She is dehydrated and malnourished. It is obvious she was not cared for properly. She has had such a hard time already. Her cry is weak and her voice scratchy. You can see all her little bones.
I hold her parents eyes. This is your chance, I tell them. Get your lives together. Get things sorted out. Get jobs and save some money. Your baby needs you.
The mother, is just 21, alone since she was a young girl, she has raised herself. She knows little and has seen so much hardship already. The father is quiet and gentle but he too is uneducated and jobless. Thankfully, they seem eager to be helped. They listen and promise to work hard for their baby’s sake.
After more talking and note taking, we pray and hug. Funny how there is an odd bonding that takes place when you rescue someone’s child. We’re in this together, I tell them. I promise to do my part. You do yours.
We will keep Jonalyn for 6 months and rehabilitate her health. By then, we hope the parents will be capable of taking her back and Jonalyn will have a chance at life.