Monday, September 24, 2012

Success Story

On an almost daily basis, I can experience such a wide range of emotions. The highs here seem so high, and the lows are usually really low. Thankfully, they usually balance each other out quite nicely, and God’s timing is always perfect.

The day after we buried Jenson, I traveled to Macha to visit Catherine, one of our babies that went back to her home village in 2010. Catherine is a baby that changed my life in more ways than I can count, and many other peoples’, too!

Catherine, 3 months old

We got her a few days old, and I named her after my sister-in-law Haley and my niece Harper, both of whom have the middle name Catherine. She came with all sorts of health concerns, spent plenty of time in and out of local hospitals, and ended up needing glasses to correct two lazy eyes. At this point in her little life, she was 2 ½ and living at Haven 2. Kathi Merritt and I took her for an eye exam, found out she needed glasses to correct the eye movement, and thought about sending her back to Haven 2. Well, Haven 2 is a house of 25 toddlers who think a new “toy” like glasses  is fascinating and to be shared! So, reentry into Haven 2 after starting to wear glasses was initially impossible. So she came home to my house until she became used to them and would be able to stop other kids from taking them off. After about a week, she loved her glasses and wanted them on all the time. It was neat to see her personality start coming to life as she started seeing better.
After seeing that it would be hard to have her successfully wear her glasses around all the other little snit-snorts, we just decided to keep her at our house until her aunts came to get her, which they had said would be in October sometime. This was late September.

Her aunts never came. We called and called, but it didn’t work out for her to go home yet, so she stayed. And became the first baby I would consider a daughter. I knew she would be going home at some point, and I truly wanted that for her. But until then, she was mine, and it was wonderful. She ended up living with us (the four girls were here then—a story for another time!) for close to 9 months. She changed my life.

After 4 broken pairs of glasses and many patches!

Her favorite American food

Catherine now lives back in a village about 3 hours away from here. She lives with her father, a new step mother, and 2 half brothers. The day she moved home, I thought my heart would break right in half. I couldn’t even handle picturing her sleeping in a new place, getting to know her family, eating different foods than she had become accustomed to with us.

But she went anyway :). And so while my heart was broken, hers was just fine after awhile. She made new friends and new traditions and she gets to live within her own community, where people know her late mother and her siblings.

Since she moved home, I’ve gotten to see her a couple of times. I’m blown away by her every time. It doesn’t make me ache any less, but it does do my heart good to see such a beautiful, happy, ornery little girl back with a family that cherishes her.

But I digress. The point of this was to say that God allowed me to go see Catherine last week out where she stays now. The Harding group was going out to tour the hospital, and I caught a ride and spent the morning with a giggly, hilarious Catherine. Our reuniting looked like a sweet movie scene. I saw her from afar. She saw me from afar. And we just ran and squealed and hugged. God gave me a really high high after a really low low.
Louisa, me, and Cath

Catherine and her little brother Milton

So I spent the morning together with her and her little brother and mom. Her mom was so gracious to bring her to meet me and allow me to love on the precious baby who is now hers. She says Catherine still travels down the road saying, “I’m going to greet Meagan, but I’ll come back!”

We left after a couple of hours, and I hugged her as tightly as I could without actually harming her, hoping she remembers just a little bit how much I love her, how God taught me so many lessons through her. And then she walked on down the road with her family. Every few seconds she would turn around and look back, flash a huge smile, and then kept walking until I finally couldn’t see her anymore. It made me ache just a little, but mostly it made me so grateful that she’s loved, she’s happy, and she’s adjusted so well to life now. That’s our goal, after all. We want to help our babies reunite with families that are able to care for them, and she’s a great success story.


  1. Meagan, What a blessing you are to so many. I am praying for you and all you touch. God is Good all of the time.

  2. What a great success story! Praise the Lord! I so much love your goal to reunite the babies with their families but keep contact with them after they moved home!

    A different question: Do you or any of the other readers happen to know what would be the most cost-efficient way to send a package to Zambia from the U.S.? Thanks in advance!

    Kind regards Beate

    1. Hello! Flat Rate boxes from the US Post Office work quite well. Depending on what size you get, the cost is the same for whatever you can fit in the box, as long as it's less than 20 lbs.
      I believe the large box is around $50 to send to Zambia.

    2. Thank you for the information.
      Kind regards Beate

  3. Thanks so much for bringing us up to date on Catherine and her new living arrangements! I love to hear about her and am so thankful she is happy and healthy, and living in a safe and secure home!
    Love and Prayers,
    P.S. Take Kelsey to see her when you can!

  4. Yeay!!!! So happy to hear this story about sweet Catherine. Yeay, so happy for your joyful day. So thankful that there are these stories of adjustment to family and roots. And guess what Meagany, we are soooooooo thankful for you!!
    Prayers for you daily!