On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, May 11, 2013
The story of 4 Mothers in Swaziland - what would you do?
Tomorrow is Mothers Day and want to dedicate this blog to my
mom, Bernice Willis, who is living in Ontario, Canada, a million miles away
from Swaziland.Mom, I love you
and am eternally grateful that you and dad adopted me as a baby and raised me
to be the woman I am today. Without you, your faith in God and your faith in me
I would not be here in Swaziland today helping other babies who weren’t lucky
enough to get you!Siyabonga
I have a theory that Mothers do the best they can for their
children with what they have. That means what they have in the areas of knowledge,
upbringing, education, financial means, love, faith, confidence and a host of
other tools. I may be wrong, but being an eternal optimist it is a view that I
want to believe.As I think about
Mothers Day tomorrow I have been thinking about four mothers who I have had
interaction with this week.These
women are not for you or me to judge, but rather maybe to prompt you to give
thanks for the mother that you were given, think about the mother that you are
and consider what you might do if you were one of these four mothers in
Mother #1 – a 14-year old girl who gave birth on Friday
morning via C-section and who refused to look at the child or touch the child
after birth.The baby lies only 30
feet from the mother in the hospital, but this young girl wants nothing to do
with it.Why?We don’t know, because she has not
revealed who the father is.Her
secrecy in itself tells that the father is likely someone close to her or the
family. Is this young mother (or
girl who gave birth to a baby) doing the best she can by turning away from the
child so that she can focus on her own education and future?
Baby Isaac, born May 10th, 2013. 2.6KG
Mother #2 –a
30-year old mother of four children who has lived at the government hospital
for the past 57 days.Her 18-month
old child was lit on fire by his own father (not living with the mother) and then
hidden for five days to suffer his 3rd degree burns in silence.This mother has watched her child live
in excruciating pain and she has slept on a chair for almost two months resting
her head on the child’s bed to sleep each night.She asked us to take the child to the El Roi Baby home when
he is healed so that he may be safe from the father’s revenge.In the interim we have been able to
move the baby and mother to a private hospital so that he can get excellent
care while he heals and remains safe from further harm.Is this mother doing the best she can
for the baby by giving him to us so that the child will live in safety?
My new BFF - burned baby is moved to private hospital.
Mother #3 – a mother who handed her 5-week old baby to a
neighbor so that she could go and use the toilet, then she ran away, never to
return.The child’s health card
reveals that the mother was HIV positive and the baby is on Anti-retrovirals,
which we will now give her at the El Roi Baby Home, which is her new home. Did
the mother do the best she could by leaving the child with a stranger, knowing
that she herself was sick and had no means to feed or care for the child?
Mother #4 – a young mother gave birth at a local hospital
and then ran away leaving the child.The baby girl has been living at the hospital for two weeks and there is
no sign of the mother coming back.The hospital has no record of the mother, no way to find her and not
even a name for the baby. We are hoping that this baby may also come and live
at the El Roi Baby home, but only time will tell.We can’t begin to imagine what kind of situation this mother
was in that would cause her to carry a child for 42 weeks and then run away
from her when she is born.
These are only four of many stories that I we heard and
dealt with this week. It was a big week for babies and mothers and I am
thankful that I am here in Swaziland to be a part of these stories.
I am thankful that my birth mother (who was 15-years old)
made a choice to give me up for adoption so that I could have a better life
than she could give me.Giving a
child away is a heartbreaking act, but in many ways it may be the most selfless
act mother can do.
Live from Swaziland … Happy Mothers Day to all women who
have brought a life in to this world and to all the mothers who have received
someone else’s child to care for.El Roi see you.