I have a number of families who have agreed to participate. This post is by one of the (now grownup) children herself. She’s changed the names to protect privacy. Because of a technical glitch, I’m posting this before I have the complete document. I’ll post the rest (and remove this note) as soon as she re-sends it. I think you’ll find it compelling. I did!
Her breath caught in her throat when her eyes fell upon the little baby the social worker held in her hands. She’d heard about children and babies who lived in poverty, dying of malnutrition in third world countries. It was one thing to hear about it. It was another to see with your own eyes.
The little girl in her arms remained silent and still. Her eyes, though open, seemed devoid of life. Slowly, and ever so carefully, Anne pulled at the sterile hospital blanket, carefully unfolding it from the unmoving package it kept so firmly in place. A tear escaped, gliding down her worried face.
Once uncovered, more of what had been told to her became revealed. At only eight months old, little Marie’s legs were still bowed in fetal position. Her tummy was distended, the organs having no room made her belly swell unnaturally.
The little baby didn’t so much as bat an eye as Anne took in all of the little girl’s physical condition. She reached up and softly caressed Marie’s head, noting how tiny her precious little ears were, observing a cut near her temple where the baby must have cut herself with her own fingernail.
Her skin was pale and seemed almost transparent with the veins clearly showing through. Her little hands curled into fists. Unwavering silence wrapped them in a cocoon.
Tears broke free as her brain tried to absorb the scene of the sickly little girl, a baby who surely could not live through the night. She lifted Marie up, snuggling her into her neck, supporting her on her shoulder, and began to gently rock back and forth. With a soothing hum, Anne sang a song of love and comfort. In her heart she began to plead with her Father in Heaven on behalf of Marie.