Yesterday the kids and I spent the entire day at a baby orphanage! It is run by an Australian family who I recently met. It is called Mission in Action. They have 14 orphans/abandoned babies starting at one week old up to 2 or 3 yrs.
My kids had a GREAT time playing with the toddlers and holding babies. What is really neat is that they have the EXACT same swing set that my dad bought for Andrew, Makena and Butterfly when we were in the US so they felt right at home! The Aussies bought it from an American family who brought all their belongings to Kenya in a container.
Well, while at the orphanage, Makena came running from the nursery saying with delight, “Mommy, we can bring home a baby!”
“Who told you that?” I asked.
She pointed to a worker and said, “She did. I’m going to pay her one shilling, and she’ll give us a baby!” It was too cute! One shilling is 1.3 cents but it was everything Makena had to offer. Of course I wanted to bring every one of the babies home with me, but since I can’t do that right now, I’ll just have to visit them as often as I can.
After lunch at the orphanage, I left Makena and Andrew there to play while Butterfly and I visited the building site of the new, bigger ‘home’ these Australian’s are building for their kiddos, and then we went to a hospital to check on an orphaned baby that weighs less than 1.8 kg. The hospital won’t release him to the home until he is at least 1.8 kg which is just less than 4 lbs. I think he is 2 months already and is still only 3lbs!
When we walked in to the hospital, I couldn’t believe the number of underweight babies! At least 10 (maybe many more- I didn’t count) of them were able to fit in the palm of my hand! There were at least 4 abandoned/orphaned babies there that were so tiny. That means that within the last few days, FOUR children were left parentless in that hospital alone.
It’s becoming a fashion trend for mothers to give birth and run away leaving baby behind. Some give birth at home and dump the baby somewhere, while others give birth at the hospital and run away leaving baby in the room. It is tragic how often this happens. Almost daily we read in the paper of mothers abandoning their children. One baby was carried by a dog across a major highway to safety where she was then found and taken to a hospital and treated for dehydration and infection. One of the babies in the orphanage we visited was found in a plastic bag left for dead. The abandonment problem is so severe here that even my friend across the street found a newborn left at her school recently, and the stories could go on and on.
In this government hospital, I watched as they used syringes to give the abandoned/orphaned newborns COW’s milk! They don’t use formula because they can’t afford it, and they don’t use bottles because they think they are not sanitary! And they wonder why these babies aren’t gaining weight properly!
Well that is how our day was yesterday. When I came home, I found my chicken house halfway built. Just a few more days, and we’ll have chickens! We hope to go to the orphanage on a weekly basis if it is beneficial to them. This past time, I brought my parachute and the orphans (the toddler ones) had a BLAST!
I’ll try and snap some pictures for you next time we visit. I left my camera at home so Johnny could document the chicken coop progress while I was out.