Monday, May 11, 2009

Aneve's Arrival

On February 10th, a little boy named Aneve joined our household. His father and grandfather, both of who are also named Aneve, brought him to our door. It was very apparent that this little boy was suffering from the effects of Kwashiorkor, which is a form of malnutrition caused by a lack of protein, which causes edema(swelling), thinning of the hair, irritability, and other serious issues including liver damage, and this is the cause of many childhood deaths in Haiti. Aneve's mother had died suddenly about a month before, and they had been trying to care for Aneve and his two older brothers. Thankfully they took the perogative to come for help before it was too late. It was really a sad thing to see them come, knowing that this little boy was so sick, knowing they could not provide for him, and knowing that they were going to have to give up their namesake. That is one of the things that I still struggle with so much in Haiti...knowing and seeing so often that people love and want their kids, but even more so, they love them and want them to live. I wish so often that we could just take kids in more often and get them on their feet, and then send them home. But, as I have learned, that's not always possible. We do have a number of community kids that come and stay for a short while here and there, but they have mothers. Mothers are the key to a lot I have learned. I was recently reading an article about a doctor who works with new and expectant mothers in Africa, and she addressed the reality that when mothers die, families fall apart, and when families fall apart, society is not far behind. This such a stark reality in Haiti. God really knew what he was doing when He invented the family.

Aneve has come a long way in the last 3 months. He cried a lot the first while, and we spent lots of time holding him and just comforting him. His skin has almost cleared up now(he was covered with impitego and ringworm) , and has lost that dried/cracked texture. He has become a very smiley cute little boy! Not to mention he wins the award for the blackest little Haitian in the house!

Minnie holding the newly bathed and shaved little Aneve

Aneve's skin was swollen and loose and infected and...oh he was a mess!

Swollen hands

Kids with Kwashiorkor face many challanges, one of which is that their cells begin to absorb water, causing swelling, which then over time causes their skin to start cracking(you can see this really well on his leg), and soon after fluid starts seeping out as their body cannot contain all the fluid build-up. Aneve came to us just before his skin started seeping fluid.

This is Aneve 5 days after he arrived. He started smiling and it was amazing to watch the healing take place in his body and spirit.

As you can see, Aneve is beautiful BLACK baby! (notice the shades of brown!)


annerieke said...

Thanks, Lori, for sharing this story so beautifully. what a precious boy and such a sad loss for his family.