by Joy Casey
Do you long for a place where politics never intrude and nary a harsh word is spoken? Then you would love stepping into our sweet orphanage in Shashemene! It is an oasis of tranquility and routine where abandoned babies are loved and nurtured until a Christian couple gives them their very own family through adoption.
When our team delivered supplies for the orphanage, the nurse and nannies were overjoyed with all the provisions – especially the formula.
They cataloged it all and placed it securely in a locked storeroom. It is used exclusively for the new babies who come to us significantly underweight, proof that their mothers had too little to eat and were unable to adequately care for themselves. Most babies found abandoned are taken directly to the hospital and then discharged to our orphanage once they are stabilized. In January, three tiny babies were placed in the care of our nurse and nannies.
Our nurse, Sr. Yerusalem (nurses are called ‘sister’), called the formula from the U.S. “miracle formula”. The babies come into her care frail and sickly, but when they are fed the formula from America, within a week she notices little faces, arms and legs filling out. After a month the baby is transformed and unrecognizable as the same baby!
Highly valued (and expensive!) preemie formula for the acutely malnourished or premature babies is also secure in the storeroom. When SAM* babies are in the hospital as well as after discharge to our orphanage, they have a personal nanny with them 24/7 who makes sure they are fed this extra-special formula. It literally saves lives! Sr. Yerusalem said hospitals are calling asking her to donate U.S. preemie formula to their hospital – which, sadly, she unable to do.
We cannot say THANK YOU enough to those who sponsor our babies until they are adopted. To those who contribute money to buy this life-giving formula — on behalf of the babies, the nannies, our nurse and the future families who adopt these little ones —
*SAM – Severe Acute Malnutrition
**Amharic for thank you