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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Our smallest baby yet – Baby Peace.

Baby Peace (left) is 5-weeks old and weighs 2.7 pounds.  Baby Amanda (right) is 2-days old and weighs 5.3 pounds.

During the first three months of 2017 we welcomed five babies to Project Canaan.  In the last three days we welcomed FOUR more (with another arriving on Monday).   It seems that children arrive in ebbs and flows, but we are in a time of flow right now.

Yesterday afternoon I was called to pick up a baby whose mother had been leaving him at home alone for 9-10 hours at a time.  Social Welfare officers had taken him to the hospital and after he had been discharged we were to go pick him there.  When we arrived we found a teeny tiny baby boy, who was five weeks old, weighing 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs).  He was SO tiny!

We brought him home and immediately took a photo of him lying beside baby Amanda who had arrived the day before.  Baby Amanda is almost 2-days old (weighing 2.4 kg or 5.3 lbs) in the photo and Baby Peace is 5-weeks old. 

My friend (and premmie baby expert), Annie Duguid, heard about the little baby who had arrived and immediately sent me a message suggesting that we try to find a nursing mother (who is not HIV or Hepatitis positive) to give little Peace some much needed mothers milk.  She explained that because his mother was HIV positive, he would not have gotten natural immunity from her. In addition, prematurity gives low immunity and he would need extra help until his own immunity kicks in around 9-months of age.

Well, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that information/suggestion/request, but I stopped and prayed about it. Immediately, Maria Koopmans came to mind. Maria and her husband Arlyn have been volunteers with us for the past 4+ years and Maria just gave birth to their second child.  I sent her an early morning text message (yes, I felt very awkward), and she responded immediately that she would be happy to provide some of her breast milk for our new little one!  I couldn’t believe it!  Not only that, two hours later she was at the baby home giving him a bottle of her own milk.

I really had “a moment”.  I can’t think of a more beautiful gift for a woman to give a child in need.  It truly is the gift of life.  Thank you Maria for your love, your sacrifice and for sharing your breast milk.  (Never thought I would be writing that sentence).

It takes a village to raise a child, and I LOVE the village I am a part of.

Live from Swaziland  … today is a great day.


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