The other day I was talking with another volunteer Carlee, and we were talking about how we have yet to experience a normal week here. Everytime we think the week will be normal, something else comes up. This week lots of things have come up, but it has been an interesting week to say the least!
Last Thursday I had an opportuity to go with the social worker for Casa de Amor to do an investigation for one of our smallest babies. The baby was found in late February in a corn field out in the country, and in order for her to be adopted, we needed to be sure her mother was not in the picture.
We started out meeting up with the woman who found her, and she showed us around from there. We met in a plaza in downtown Quillacollo, which is the next city over from Cochabamba. The plaza is one of the busiest ones I´ve been too, and there are vendors all over the street selling food, and other random things. This plaza is also the main destination for public transportation, so you have to wind your way through the vans and busses. I had to keep reminding myself that this was real, and not a scene from a movie. How often do you get to meet a stranger in a plaza to look for a missing mother? Pretty often, it seems, if you are a social worker in Bolivia! Tia Rosa, the social worker was very patient and answered all of my questions about the Social Services system in Bolivia.
The woman we were meeting was definitely running on Bolivian time, but it was a great opportunity to talk with Tia Rosa, and read the initial reports. The woman came after about 30 minutes, and brought her 4 year old daughter with her as well. Both were very dissapopinted that we had not brought the baby, and the woman teared up as she asked when she could see her. Tia Rosa assured her that she was doing well, and after paperwork was done she could see her. We then followed the woman and her daughter to another Trufie that would take us up farther iup the mountain where the baby had been found. After about 30 minutes I felt like we were in a totally different place. The city is fairly modern, and has become familiar, but I had never been up into the country before. Cows lived on the side of the road, and the trufie was so loud I couldn´t hear any of the conversation. The houses became much simpler, and poverty was much more apparent. We finally got off, and walked for about 20 minutes to the place the woman lived with her family. And extended family. Our plan had been to ask the neighbors if they knew anything about the baby girl, but there really were no neighbors to ask. We passed the house where the woman lived, and she took us out to the corn fields where she works. The farther out we went, the harder it was to believe that someone had delivered a baby in this place. We finally made it to a place with some bushes and cactus, and the woman told us that she had found the baby underneath the bushes covered in ants, and without any clothes. She had been collecting the last of the corn, and heard a baby crying. She immediately took the baby to the hospital, and hadn´t known if she would survive.
I have heard stories like this often, but this was a new experience for me. I knew this baby. I had held her, changed her diapers, and fed her bottles. I had prayed for her, and watched her sleep. To realize that she could have died here was hard to grasp. And my first response was to question how it could have happened. I wanted to be angry at the person who left her here, and question everyone around until we found out who it was.
And then God reminded me that He cares for her. He didn´t leave her there, and it really is a miracle that she was found. He formed her in her mother´s womb, and He knows her story. More than that, he also knows her mother and father, and loves them, just like I love her. And to think that God loves us in that same way is crazy. He loves us when we do horrible things, and He gives grace. What a great God we have!
After we left, we went to the Defonsoria, (which is kind of like CPS in the United States) to see if anyone had come to ask about the baby. No one had come, but everyone remembered her, and was happy to hear that she was doing well. Please continue to be in prayer for this baby, as well as her parents. Our God is a God of healing, and love, and my prayer is that this baby girl would have a loving family, and know the love of God that saved her from the corn field, and saves us all from oursleves. Not only for her, but for all of the children in the homes here, that they would have families of their own, but more importantly, know the love of their Father that cares for them more than I do.
Love you all! If you would like to know more about what you can do to help, please email me or send me a message!
The baby on the right in pink is the baby girl found in the corn field!