Kurt and Jessie are brother and sister, a special situation around here. They went home together last week to a mother and father who are both blind and both sick. 3 years ago, we sent home their older brother Choolwe when he was almost 3, and we currently still have their littlest sister, Leahndrea, who is four months old.
Are you following all of this??
One family, 5 kids, 4 of whom we have or have had:
Lushomo-8 years, never lived with us
Choolwe- 6 years, lived with us his first 3 years
Kurt- 4 years, lived with us his first 4 years
Jessie- 2 years, lived with us her first 2 years
Leahndrea- 4 months, still living with us
I'm not sure how they managed when their oldest, Lushomo, was a baby. But they brought Choolwe to us when he had just started crawling and they couldn't find him and were worried he'd get burnt in the fire, or drown in a river, none of which they would be able to see and stop. It was a dangerous situation, so we agreed to keep Choolwe until he was old enough to understand and obey instructions, understood the dangers of fire and water, that sort of thing.
|On one of my visits out to check on Choolwe after he'd gone back home.|
In a situation like this, it's so easy to start judging. There are so many questions we have, so many differences in the way our world and our families operate that make this situation quite unbelievable and heartbreaking. I have to remind myself all the time that I can't even begin to fathom what life is like for these parents. To desperately love and want your kids, but to also have to make some really tough decisions to make sure they are safe and given a good chance at life. There are absolutely no resources here for a blind couple trying to raise their children. Instead, the harsh reality is that their children become their caretakers in many ways. What a huge burden to put on children so young.
And now they're out in the real world. There is no doubt that they are loved and have been prayed for and waited for. But there's also no doubt that they are completely overwhelmed and confused at what their new life is like. That makes me ache for them and wish to shelter them from all the harsh realities of life, of their life. We believe firmly here that if possible, kids need to be with their families. And it's possible for these, even though it's hard. They know not to get in the fire, they know how to do basic tasks, and I'm so grateful they are going together to start their new life and not alone.