Betty's Babies

This little sweetheart is baby Max. He is most definately a heart melter! He's a flirtatious little snuggler.
There is a retired couple here who have been serving for several years taking care of special needs babies who are not able to go into the general nursery. Betty, who will be a great grandmother soon, amazes me with her willingness to sacrifice sleep, time and big chunks of her heart day after day for these precious little ones. The rows of little framed faces that cover one wall of her house testify to just how many sleepless nights she has had over the years, how many hours she has spent in a rocking chair and the unimaginable number of bottles she has washed and filled. That is love in the nitty gritty of dirty diapers, screaming colic and a sink full of dirty bottles.
As a foster mother, I also see in each one of those little faces a piece of Betty and Phil's heart. So many goodbyes. In one of our recent conversations about the pain involved in "goodbyes" she said that every time it hurts and every time she knows she'll do it again, loving the little ones God gives her. She will leave the heart mending to God. She said there is no way she can heal herself from all the losses, she'll let God do it in heaven.
She has had quite a few of her babies die, some go back to family, and some get adopted. I have only experienced holding one baby who's spirit had already gone to heaven....I can't imagine several. Betty and Phil recently said goodbye to a little girl who came into their care at a few weeks old. She was three when she left. I can't imagine. That would be like passing Silas to a stranger and walking away.
I said goodbye to 3 babies this past year and my heart still aches for them on occasion. I think about them. I wonder where they are. I pray for them. I say silent happy birthday's to them. Just a taste of that makes me look at this woman with so much respect and compassion. At the same time assurance that God continues to provide a limitless resource of his love for these little ones.

At 10 months old little max is doing so well. He was so very tiny when when we arrived 5 months ago. Non existent pre-natal nurturing, being sold and abandoned at only days old left this precious boy in a state of "failure to thrive" among other problems. He was rescued and brought to Betty when he was a few weeks old (mas o menos). When I first met him he resembled a newborn more than he did a baby who "should" have been a chubby, playing, sitting baby. He is growing though, getting stronger, and devoloping at his own pace. He is now off of the feeding tube and takes a bottle. He is already exceeding expectations and I know he will continue to amaze us all. He will do life in his way, in his timing.

Miss Celina was brand new when we arrived in October. A tiny newborn girl with a cleft lip and and gorgeous eyes.
She has thrived under Betty's care and has even had her first surgery.
Isn't she beautiful?

I don't think Betty knows how much I look up to her but if you haven't already figured it out, she is basically my hero. I don't think I've ever met a more humble woman, she would be totally embarrassed if she knew how much I admire her.
I am somewhat unabashedly fascinated by Celina and the care of her cleft lip/palate. I think I've asked Betty enough questions about Celina's colic, her feeding, her breathing, her surgeries and everything else that comes with caring for a baby born with a cleft lip/palate to classified as a very annoying person. I think when I look at Celina , in a way, I see my Samuel. Maybe that's why I find it all fascinating. He didn't live long enough to be fed with a special bottle, to keep me awake with colic, or to be scheduled for surgery. I find myself emotionally cheering her on.
As we are counting down the days until we return to Canada I am trying to savor, to experience, to mentally capture as much as I can. I let my eyes rest on each of the children a little longer. I hug a little tighter.
As I snuggled little max I began to long to begin our baby fostering again. We have gone about 8 months without a baby now and although I am now enjoying sleeping through the night (Silas is finally leaving me alone at night) I miss everything else that goes along with it.

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