Today we got to celebrate Mikela! It was her first real birthday party in the states! She just turned 8 years old! I can hardly believe she’s that old now!
I couldn’t help but shed a few small tears today. To think of where she came from – all that she went through as a small child – and to now see her all dressed-up – walking the runway – being the little diva she is – – it was an incredible contrast!
For those of you who don’t know Mikela’s story –
Mikela came into our lives when she was 10 months old. Her neighbor’s cousin approached me asking me to please save this little girl. I told her no. My hands were full. We didn’t have a baby orphanage – I already had 3 small Haitian girls in my home at that time – and the Miriam Center was full.
Two days later she approached me again. She asked if she could bring the little baby to me – just so I could “see” her. Again I said no. Anytime I “saw” a child in need – I couldn’t help but take them. Jose worried every day I went to clinic as we had all kinds of children go through our home. But I had limited resources and I didn’t want to put her image in my mind.
So the neighbor’s cousin waited outside the gate for me to go to church and there in her arms was a 4 pound (10 month old) baby. Her head was at least 3 pounds which meant the rest of her body wasn’t more than a pound. She was nothing but bones covered in skin. I cried as soon as I saw her.
She didn’t have a name. Her mom was pregnant with a new boyfriend’s baby and he didn’t want her. The mother was a large lady. No doubt she ate well. So why in the world did she have such a tiny baby? Since the boyfriend didn’t want the baby – neither did the mother. So she starved her from 15lbs down to 4lbs. Imagine that a 10 month old can nearly walk and understands the world around them. Mikela watched her mother eat. She watched those around her eat. But she wasn’t given any food. She cried every day – every night – hungry – starving to death right in front of her family’s eyes.
Too weak to hold up her head or suck on a bottle of formula – we fed her using an eye dropper. Just a few drops every 15 minutes – all around the clock. My hands were incredibly full so I put her in the Miriam Center for the afternoon explaining to the workers what to do. The ladies there immediately brought her back. They told me she was going to die and they didn’t want her to die around the other children.
So in that moment – I prayed for God to place His hand upon this lifeless, little baby girl. That He would save her and use her in a mighty way. And from that day forward she lived in my home and we called her Mikela.
A few weeks after I had her – the mother found out she was living with an American. She came to my house and knocked on the large window I had on my porch. She demanded I give her 1000.00 USD or she would take the baby back. I knew what would happen if I paid her – so I gathered up Mikela’s things – passed her through the window – and slammed it shut.
With tears I ran to the other side of the house to see if her mom would truly walk out the gates with her. I waited 10 minutes and never saw her pass. So I went outside my house and there the mother was – still standing at the foot of my steps. She told me she didn’t want the baby and she walked out the gate.
Mikela developed an eating disorder from the abuse that she faced at 10 months old. She wouldn’t go to sleep unless you put a cracker in her hand. This lasted for nearly two years. She ate and she ate until her stomach was full and she threw up. After she threw up – she continued to beg for food. Every meal we fed her – if you tilted the bowl and began to scrape it (indicating that the food was almost gone) she would begin to cry. She was obsessed with food. Her first word was – COOKIE.
We met with counselors and therapists – and as she began her 4th year of life – she eventually overcame her past.
SO here we are today – nearly 7 years later – and my beautiful, healthy, little Mikela is strutting her stuff – laughing – dancing – and thriving! As I’m watching her act so sassy and goofy – my mind couldn’t help but drift back to those first few weeks we had her. One would never know today all that she overcame.
And even now- I can’t help but see that God’s mighty hand is still upon her!
Here is a video and pictures from today’s festivities!
Categories: Personal Stories