Monday, April 16, 2018

"NOOOOOO, mama Jenna, NOOOOOOOO!" screams, at the top of her lungs, my quiet, shy, 13 year old girl who barely speaks Spanish as she lay in the backseat of our Suzuki grabbing her pregnant belly while I am flying down the pot-hole filled road trying to get to the hospital. "Coming out, something is coming out!" she wails. I quickly reach back with one arm and push her legs together while I drive with my other arm and ask the nanny to ask her in her language, "What is coming out?" "Put your hand down there and tell me what you feel, right now!" I tell her. She responds, "Water." We hit a red light with a line of backed up cars. I turn around and tell her with all the authority in my voice, "You do NOT push! Do NOT push! Let all the water that wants to come out, come out, DO NOT PUSH."

I tell her to breathe with me, you know, like they do in the movies, because it will make some of her pain go away. We inhale deeply with our nose, and exhale fully with our mouth, over and over again until her next contraction. I considered pulling over to deliver her extremely premature baby on the side of the road. Then I thought better. I wasn't afraid to deliver the baby, I was afraid that I would need to immediately give CPR and compressions to keep it alive and that my nanny could not drive. I couldn't drive to the hospital and do all that at the same time. I just kept on driving. We finally got to the hospital. The gate-keeper didn't want to let me in. I screamed at him, "Parto!" That means "delivery" in Spanish. He let me in and I dropped them off at the emergency and raced to park the car. I ran in and used my foreignness to my advantage, something I try not to do often. I started ignorantly peeking around the curtain in the gynecological exam room and a nurse walks up, "Can I help you?" Exactly what I was hoping for. "Yes, the little girl who just came in for a parto..." "Oh, come with me, I will take you there myself. She actually just gave birth. She was 100% dilated and the baby was just expelled from her body." It hadn't even been 5 minutes since I dropped them off at the emergency entrance.

We walked to some other corner of the hospital and I saw our nanny sitting on a bench. The nurse told me to wait there until the doctors came out. So we waited. "B" was only 23 weeks pregnant, just like me. This couldn't be good. I tried to google babies born at 23 weeks gestation but my fingers were trembling. Something popped up, but it had words in it that I did not want to see, so I turned my phone off. Just then the doctors came out. One of the doctors, a pediatrician, is a friend of mine. She hugged me and then told me that B is fine and she just delivered her baby. I ask her about the baby and she said it was too premature to survive. I asked her if they were ventilating it, she said no, that there was nothing they could have done. It weighed a pound and 2 ounces and there was nothing that could have been done. I asked her what are they doing then, she said nothing, she died. She said they showed B her baby, but with the first attempt to breathe, it died. I was like, so there is NOTHING we can do? The look in her eyes revealed her sadness and at the same time, her desire to tell me yes, when the truth was really, no. She said no, looked down, and walked away. I'm just not used to not being able to do anything. Then the other doctors bombarded us asking for information.

We sat there for hours. There were times when I wanted to cry and times when I was okay. We just sat there on that bench and waited until we could see B. During that time I realized that we needed to ask someone what they would do with the body of the baby girl. I was told that it would go out with the placenta and the other "matter". Then it occurred to me that if it "goes out" how on earth would they do a DNA test to prove who the father was. I asked around, and like most "professionals" in this country say, I was given the answer to not worry about it, basically because it would require work on someone's part. So, encouraged by my nanny, I took a deep breath and I went to the head of the victim's clinic who had had B's case from the beginning. I asked him and his eyes grew wide with panic. He immediately turned to the social worker and told her to call and find out what they did with the.... "fetus".... he finally said after fumbling around for a word trying not to say "body", "baby", or "waste". He was extremely relieved when he was told the baby had been sent to the morgue. He instructed the social worker on how to proceed.

I left. We didn't even get to see B. We had waited for 5 hours and were told that she still would be a while, but where they would take her she would be under nurse care and that we couldn't be with her except for visiting hours. I sent our social worker back at visiting hours and our coordinator there the next day. The day after that she was given leave and I went to pick her up. She was healthy, smiling from ear to ear. Understandably, we were the only ones who felt the loss, the loss of a life, the life of a child. And now my staff and I are doing everything we can to get the authorities to give us the body, otherwise it will go out with all the rest of the "matter". But we have done ALL we can and now we just have to wait and hope for the best.

Supposedly the DNA was extracted and they are working on getting a test done. Will there be justice even with a positive DNA match? I find it hard to believe. My other 69 kids have never received any type of justice. Here the murderers, the rapists, the abusers, they all go free, unpunished. At least this is true in our cases. Even with video proof there is always an acceptable excuse.

Remember little baby "A" who was at the brink of death when he was rescued with his two older brothers from his pregnant mother? He almost died. No justice. The kids get their lives interrupted, lose everything, and go to an institution to live (not that our institution is bad, but still). The mother goes free. Gives birth to twin babies. Leaves one to die, it dies, and the other is rescued from her also very sick. Where's the mother now? who knows. She went to jail for a couple of days for "human trafficking", but then she paid a fine and she got out. She is probably off drunk getting pregnant again.

Remember little baby Esperanza and her twin "I"? They were rescued on the brink of death. Brought to us. Recovered and sent to live with their grandparents who immediately gave them back to the father. Esperanza starved to death. I had never heard of the word marasmus until then. "I" almost starved to death, too. And just like the brothers and their new baby sister, he is back with us. And who received a consequence for Esperanza's death? Not one person.

I love my job and I hate my job. I live here understanding that it is more likely that I will go to jail for something that I have never done, than it is likely that one of our children's abusers will ever be punished. On top of it all, last week it came to my attention that my little blonde haired, blue eyed, 4.5 yr old girl who has a heart full of love and compassion has been being bullied, somewhat seriously, in her school by other kids her age. It has started affecting her quite a bit and she doesn't understand why the other kids constantly do things to her and tell her, "TU, no." (YOU, no). Imagine how it must feel for someone to look at you, and with a snarl, say, "YOU, no!" A lot of us know firsthand. We met with the teacher who at first tried to cover it up and blame it on Mary Charis and it wasn't until our psychologist thought to ask the teacher to bring the recess helper in to ask her in front of the teacher, that we learned the truth.

As Mary Charis and I snuggled in bed that evening after reading the "Bible book" as she calls it, I explained to her that lots of people told Jesus, "TU, no." and Jesus didn't do anything wrong, he just loved them still. I told her everyone had looked at Everest, and Lucy, and Guapo, and Marshall, and Baby, and all the other puppies that we've rescued and they told them, "TU, no!" People looked at the kids of Casa Gloria before, the ones that we love now, and they told them, "TU, no!" People looked at Leah and told her, "TU, no." But Jesus looks at us and at them and at you and He says, 'TU, SI!'"

I know that this evil and injustice come as a result of a sinful and fallen world, a result of people looking at God, daily, and saying, "TU, no!" But I also know that our sovereign God could change it all with one word if He so desired. I know that our God, who is the epitome of good, allows it to be for now because He will one day turn it all around into something beautiful and glorious, something that will work together for the good of His children and the glory of His name. And so we can be at peace, trusting our good Father, choosing to say to Him every day despite our circumstances, "TU SI!"........ no matter what that may look like for our life in that moment.