We got a phone call.
Baby born, mother died, the family don’t want the baby.
Our hearts sink! Those are painful words to hear. Abraham (our Head Social Worker) makes some phone calls to Foster parents that we recently trained. Three families say they are ready and willing to take the baby as soon as that afternoon. Heart rises a little with the happiness knowing that at least now the baby has a chance of a family.
Abraham sets off to the hospital in a rural area an hour and a half away. He meets three female relatives at the hospital; Grandma, Great Aunt and a distant cousin of the Mother who had sadly just passed away.
Abraham at first listens to everyone state quite plainly and without much discussion- we don’t want the baby. The nurses report that the relatives were adamant they were not taking the baby home with them.
Abraham being the talented social worker he is. Looks at Grandma and asks:
“If there was milk in your breasts would you take the baby?”
Immediately the whole mood shifts a little.
The Great Aunt and Cousin say the same.
And so it all comes out. It’s not that they did not want the child.
They didn’t want to take the baby home to die!
The Aunt says I know that cows milk can’t keep such a small baby alive! So am I going to take this child to my home to suffer and die?
Abraham breathes a huge sigh of relief.
This child is loved, this child is wanted.
Milk! Milk we can solve.
Milk is why we exist running The Baby Project.
You see, giving poor families a choice is essential. And a real choice that gives hope, values and centers on the child and their rights.
As a team, we later reflected on how many baby’s live in Orphanages whose families supposedly didn’t want them. How many are really there though because no one gave them the choice to keep their child?
How many babies are orphaned not by the death of their parents but by not supporting families to keep their babies?
Today we saw the baby come in for our weekly session. She received formula milk, weighing and parenting training.
She is now 1 month old, she is chubby, snuggled up in a wrap on her Great Aunts back.
“She is the daughter I never had, Aunty remarks.”
What a privilege to be able to be make families. That orphaned children are able to remain home and loved is a privilege and a joy!