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Saturday, January 16, 2016

It’s official - Baby Shirley is returning to the US today for surgery.

Many of you know Baby Shirley’s story. If not, you can read it in my blog here: .

The short version is that her mother dropped her in a pit latrine (outdoor toilet) at birth and then dumped fire in on top of her to make sure she was dead.  An Uncle came to the rescue and both mother and baby ended up in a hospital in Swaziland for 6 weeks.  After she was discharged the mother was put in prison and the baby was put in to our legal custody.   She struggled to breathe because her nose had collapsed from the fire, and she was in and out of the private hospital with pneumonia.  She needed surgery to save her life and she got it.

In November 2014 Baby Shirley flew to the US with the Ferguson family and was met at the airport by our friends at the Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF), who then took over.  Shirley spent four months in and out of surgery and then returned to us in Swaziland.

She has been recovering well, she walks (even though one of her big toes had to be amputated), she has lots of teeth and she is a sweet baby.  A few months ago we could see that her nose was starting to collapse and she would need more surgery.  Elissa Montanti, and her team at GMRF stepped right up and made plans for her to be treated at the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. 

This morning all of our 106 children gathered and our caregivers gathered to pray for Baby Shirley and our volunteer extraordinaire, Chris Cheek, before they headed to New York.  Chris is taking Baby Shirley to the US and will stay with her for 3-months as she goes through more surgeries and recoveries.  Chris Cheek is an angel in disguise and we give thanks for her selfless spirit and her servant’s heart.

And so they are off!  They will land in the US tomorrow morning and will be greeted in New York with winter coats, hats and boots.  I don’t think Chris will be missing the 109F temperatures we have had of late, but Baby Shirley might!

As we crossed the border from Swaziland to South Africa three different people came up to us and thanked us for caring for this child. The first was the Immigration officer who stamped our passports. The second was the Doctor who first cared for Baby River and gave him his first colostomy.  The third person was a random woman who recognized Baby Shirley from the National newspaper articles.  They were all so moved to see her and their kindness brought me to tears, again.

Thank you all for your prayers for this beautiful child. So many of our children have had serious, life-threatening challenges, but El Roi, the God who sees, has created Project Canaan, “a place of hope” for them all, and us too.

Live from Swaziland … lots of tears shed today.


PS – we are short monthly funding for 16 of our children.  We don’t want to have to say “no” to bringing in a child, but it takes money to care for them.  The total cost per child is $225 US per month, which includes all formula, diapers, day shift, night shift, clothing and basic medical care.  Please consider signing up to be a monthly donor of any dollar amount.  Every dollar helps us save a life. Thank you.

In the US please click here.

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