I usually don’t give out ANY information about our children’s biological families. But, in this instance, I have to share GhanaGirl’s story, as a request for help. I was able to meet GhanaGirl’s biological family while I was at Lucky Hill. She has a little brother. I didn’t know that, but when in Ghana, you go with the flow. Her biological father told me quietly about her little brother when we met. Imagine my surprise when one early morning, as I was getting ready for the day, Brant came to ask me if I could come and look at a sick baby that had just arrived with his father. It was GhanaGirl’s little brother, accompanied by her father. I took the baby’s temperature, 99.1, not too bad. He had a runny nose, and some upper airway congestion. So did half of the children at Lucky Hill. He was obviously hungry. Her father told me quietly that he hadn’t been able to feed him in a day. He told me the baby was just 8 months old. I took one look at GhanaGirl’s little brother and I turned to Brant, slightly panicked.
I told him that I could tell that the baby is totally blind, but that I had NO idea how to say it. Little Brother has white pupils and his eyes roll in his head, not focusing on anything. He is also not even close to being able to sit up. This is a developmental milestone that he should be closing in on accomplishing. He’s not even close. His hands could grip your fingers, but his arms are slightly rigid and contracted. I think he probably has some Cerebral Palsy. I don’t know if he will ever walk, he bears no weight on his legs when you try to stand him up. How do you tell this to a father who has NO idea? The orphanage director sat next to GhanaGirl’s father the whole time. They are friends. He watched nervously. I told him. I had no choice. It was horrible. But, no one cried, no one broke down. The orphanage director and GhanaGirl’s dad just looked at each other, sadly, and handed me the baby. They both looked somber as they went back to work. GhanaGirl’s dad came regularly to look at Little Brother. I cried, he didn’t. There is nothing to be done. This is life in Ghana.
I quickly got my money and Gloria offered to go to the market for me to buy a baby bottle and formula. Shelley and I cared for Little Brother all day. He ate, he smiled, he quickly felt better. Later that day, I asked Kingsley about the baby. I knew the answers to my questions, but I had to ask. I asked Kingsley if the baby would stay. “He cannot stay. We cannot care for a baby here”. And, they can’t, they’re not set up for that. Now what would happen? Kingsley said he can’t stay. But, that night, Gloria put a crib in the living room, and Madame told me she would care for the baby overnight. I didn’t understand. I thought he couldn’t stay. GhanaGirl’s father told me that he has no water to make formula, no diapers…and no home.
There is no choice. Little Brother has to stay, or, he will die. The orphanage director knows that, and that’s the kind of person he is. He’s the kind that tells you he DOES NOT have the means to care for a child, but then turns around and finds a way. I bought enough formula to last them about 2 weeks before I left. That formula has to be gone now. Lois told me that Little Brother is still there, she spoke with Kingsley today. So, the orphanage director and his wife are now left with another mouth to feed. Madame has another child to clothe and bathe. I am in awe. If there was EVER a reason to part with your hard earned American money, this is it. Little Brother is just one story. There are so many more yet to come.