One day while Brian was still at the hospital, Glenn and Carlos went to Brian’s village with the police to visit his grandfather. This was an important step in the process of getting a plan together for Brian’s future. The police have given us a letter of approval to keep Brian as he recovers. From there, steps must be taken in partnership with the village authorities to visit the family and assess the situation that the child comes from. As Christine had described, the grandfather was an alcoholic, and his grandmother had left long ago. Brian’s aunt was taking care of the grandfather and had a small baby. The mother was still in Kenya. As suspected, the family had little interest in Brian’s well being. They said they hadn’t seen him in months, and never even made an attempt to find him or report him missing to the police. They said he was an “unruly” child. No wonder this kid is so starving for love and attention.
On Wednesday they discharged Brian from the hospital after a couple of days without the tube and eating soft foods. We were surprised at this decision, but happy to have him back home again. I’ll admit I was really getting sick of going to that hospital every day. Even just a few hours of sitting there is exhausting. I saw a lot of things during the time I spent there, so I know Brian saw so much more. One day a woman died in the bed just a few feet away. One day a young man came in covered in blood from a motorcycle accident. The toilets are only a hole in the ground, so I avoided those as much as possible. The hospital we were in is actually one of the cleanest and nicest in the area. Even at that, the wards are open rooms with beds lined up in a row. Anything that happens is basically in plain view of everyone there. Family members sleep on the floor or in the bed with the patient. Needless to say, Brian was a HAPPY kid when they told him he could go home.
The past few days, Brian has been eating a special diet as directed, and has been improving every day. The doctors said a surgery to bypass the blockage was inevitable. God is proving them wrong. We don’t really have any other way to explain it than that. I think he understands that God is watching over him, and his smile shows us that he knows he is loved. He has even said he wants to be a pastor when he grows up. Last night he sang over and over again in his high pitched little voice “I believe in the Father” partly in English and partly in Luguisu. Who knows how or where he learned the song. He sang it over and over again while we sat in the dark in the middle of a power outage. Carolina and I laughed and laughed and Carlos finally asked him to sing another song because it was the longest song he’d ever heard. It’s moments like that I realize again that I’m where God wants me to be.
Somehow I’ve become a “mother” to an 11 year old African within the first two months of being in Uganda. I feel kind of like a mean mother because I have to be strict about his eating and I’m continually hovering over him making sure he’s not sneaking food ( I found out today I’ve failed at this because we discovered a pack of cookies in his room). Being a mother isn’t easy. Now I understand what a responsibility it is. Thanks Mom for dedicating your life to raising me! Thankfully I’ve had Carlos and Carolina here to help me with all of this. They’ve both worked in orphanages in Venezuela for years and know how to handle children in these types of situations.
Yesterday we thought Brian ran away and normal life stopped as the people in our house and office postponed our duties to go search for him. For about an hour nobody had seen him and we automatically thought the worst. We’ve done so much for this kid and now he’s run away… not cool. Finally we saw Brian walking up the path of our compound with a big smile on his face. He had come to see what all the commotion was about. Apparently he had just been in a room with two of our volunteers playing with an Iphone and “supervising” their meeting. The guards had overlooked the closed door when they were searching for him. At that point we all just burst into laughter and Brian thought it was hilarious that his disappearance caused such a disturbance.
In Brian’s previous situation, he was gone for a month or more and nobody bothered to look for him. Now, he has 20 people and a search party out in less than an hour. God really must love Brian. Please help us pray for what’s next. Pray for a good tutor for him so he can learn some things before starting school for the first time next term. Pray also for a loving and honest Ugandan family to raise him. Most of all, pray that God will use Brian to love others, just as God loves him.