In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

October's Child

My three month old baby, Sonia, is sick, critically sick. Today, she was sicker than she has ever been. She was unstable, even on CPAP, and I feared for her life.

She is a sweet, alert, contented baby when she is well. When she is not, she fights and flails and roars angrily, until her puffy eyes bulge. Today, the battle for breath sent Sonia into combat mode. 'Sonia, enough!' I pleaded, from across the room, as a nurse tried to adjust the prongs in her nose. Hearing the command, Sonia stopped fighting, and turned, fixing her gaze on mine. What does that tone mean, Miss Susan, she seemed to ask? I think I better pay attention to you......

Pay attention she did, following me through a 120 degree angle, as I crossed the NICU floor. Oh my! 'Ladies,' I declared to the nurses and nannies, 'my girl is really bright!'

'She is not October's child!' Madame Bernard replied. 'October's children are not inteligent.'

'Pardon? What do you mean by that? October's child? Do Haitian's call all people born in October, dim?'

Monday's Child is fair of face,
Tuesday's Child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe.....

My heckles were up. Sonia probably has Down syndrome. I am determined that she will not be cast under any sterotype.

'No, Susan,' the nurse replied, patiently. 'I meant that babies born in October of last year aren't really doing anything intelligent, yet.'

'Sonia wants to hold her bottle,' Someone said. I nodded, beaming with pride. That's usually the work of a 5 month old, not a 3 month old!

As we talked, I was changing Sonia. Her arms were inside her sleep suit, so that she would not mess with her nasal prongs while I did that. Suddenly, thorough the arms holes, out pop both of Sonia's arms! At what age do babies learn that?

We all laughed! Sonia does this consistently. She can also remove mittens that are taped on to her!

'She is October's child' I told the nannies.
'With lots of spirt!' someone added.

At the end of this rough day, I am hearing Sonia's monitor alarming, even though it is not, and I know I will be hearing it in my sleep.

I love this little lady, who needs a passport and US medical visa, as a matter of absolute urgencys so that she can receive life-saving surgery and medical care that cannot be provided in Haiti.

In my heart, I feel confident that this will happen 'in time' for Sonia. I have an assurance, as inexplicable as it is absolute, that God has a plan for Sonia, that includes, life, hope and a future. I believe that her 'spirit' is God-breathed and that it will sustain her.


KD's Korner said...



This is Kelly...I volunteered with GLA April of last year.

You, Dixie and esp Sweet Baby Sonia are in my thoughts and prayers esp I make phone calls in attempt to get her the much needed help she so deserves!

Thanks for all you are doing to ensure all the children in the care of GLA stay healthy and strong!

Loving God, Loving Haiti and Loving GLA (esp Sonia)

Kelly D <>< :)

drmom said...

I, too, have Sonia in my heart. I have not met her but have been praying for her and thinking of her every day since I read your first posts about her when she arrived at
GLA. Since receiving Tom's recent emails and having been in contact with him via emails and phone, I have been saying one unending prayer that God will get Sonia to the proper place with the proper host family for the proper and best treatment just for her. I have a health care background and I feel your desperation in your knowledge of how emergent Sonia's medical situation is. She is loved, by you there, by many of us Stateside working with medical facilities to bring her here, and most of all, God. With so much love abounding for this perfect soul, please, God, allow for a miracle to unfold. I hope to meet you all someday; you are angels on earth. I pray for you.