Though I’m not old enough to be a granny – I am one just the same. Naomie who was just a baby when I was 9 years old…. now has three children – a 7 month old boy, a 3 year old girl, & a 5 year old boy.
It’s hard for me to believe that my little baby – a girl who was never expected to live – is now grown-up with a family of her own.
Naomie cannnot read or write. She has a learning disability. I have tried to send her to cooking & sewing school but she still has trouble understanding the basic concepts. I tried to help her start a small business selling rice – but the community took advantage of her.
There’s not very many opportunities for Naomie or girls like her – to make a living on their own. When I think about Rosie and all that she has been through – without Beth & a loving family to help her walk through the difficulties – she would suffer the same fate.
We send monthly support to Naomie in St. Louis so that she can care for her family. Though she has a desire to provide on her own – one of the most important things she can do is be a good mommy. When the baby orphanage was in St. Louis she loved to help me care for the children there. She came on weekends and offered her time to love & hold babies.
I remind her every time I see her that she was made perfect in God’s eyes. Though I know she becomes very discouraged – God brought her into my life for such a time as this. I could have loved & held any child I wanted. The nutritional program was full of 3rd degree malnourished babies who loved to be held. But God drew me to Naomie with a bond so strong I truly felt like she was my own.
So today I’m thankful for Naomie. I am thankful that God brought her into my life so that she would not suffer in her disabilities as an adult all alone. I am thankful for the way He used her to fuel my fire for medical missions & for children in need. I’m thankful that He still uses me to show her how valuable & worthy she is as a woman loved and chosen by God.
SO Thankful…Day 10
I was 9 years old the first time I held a baby that died in my arms. She had severe wet malnutrition. Her entire body was not only swollen but popping and breaking open. We wrapped her precious little body in bandages trying to keep her sores from becoming infected. We fed her around the clock with an eye dropper. But it was simply too late. After 72 hours in our constant care – she went to be with Jesus.
I was also 9 years old when Naomie was born. Naomie weighed 2 pound and 8oz. She was small enough to fit in your hand. Her mother only weighed 70lbs when she gave birth. We didn’t have a birthing center. No incubators. Yet little Naomie was strong. I fed her formula every 15 minutes with an eye dropper. I fell in love with her from the moment I laid eyes on her!
From the moment Naomie was born she was “mine”. She slept with me at the mission. I didn’t have a baby bed and I didn’t have my own room. Over 21 years ago we all slept out on top of the roof – under the stars. So I fixed up a little cardboard box with blankets. She slept in a box until she was too big to fit! I felt like I was a real momma!
I’ll never forget when Dad thought that box was just trash. He kicked it to the side and up popped Naomie – like a little snake! HA! When Jose and I were married Naomie lived with us in Haiti. I couldn’t wait to fix up her own room – a REAL room! It was pink and purple!
Naomie taught me that with a little care – with a little love – that even the smallest amount of attention could save a life. How was it that at 9 years old -I experienced my first up-close death & my first miracle?
I can honestly say God called me to Haiti that year. He didn’t just call me to Haiti but He called me to help little children. I knew at 9 years old I was going to be a nurse and I was going to live in Haiti.
When I was a junior in high school there were several people who were graduating early from school. Unfortunately these girls had gotten themselves into some trouble and the school was working with them so they could finish high school early. I went before the board of education and asked to graduate early just like them. They told me that the other girls were in an emergency situation and that’s why they were allowing them to graduate. I explained the kind of emergency that the children in Haiti were facing and the number of children that would die because I delayed a year opening up my Pediatric Clinic.
The board agreed unanimously and I graduated high school my junior year. I then went to UK and got my BSN.
So today I am thankful for Naomie!
For being the catalyst to my Call to be a Medical Missionary.
Categories: Mission Stories