The moment that I met my son – he was lethargic with a high fever. And I sobbed. First because I was so excited and overwhelmed to meet my baby, then because I was so afraid that there was something wrong with him. I kept turning to the director of the orphanage with pleas of “What is wrong with my baby?” … “What do you have to relieve his fever?” … “How long has he been like this?”, etc. I would later learn that they did not have any medicines to relieve his fever – just antibiotics that they were injecting into his little body in case he had an infection. I was frantic with worry. I had just met my baby and it took only seconds for me to become his Mommy. I immediately felt the heavy weight of all that intense love and concern a Mommy feels for her child…. The endless concern, the endless worry, and the eternal and boundless love.
I spent that whole first night with my son – back at the hotel – trying to cool his burning fever. Thank God a fellow traveller gave us a bottle of Infant Tynelol … which brought Isaac nearly instant relief. We administered it to him throughout our brief weekend stay and were thus able to enjoy our bright and cheerful boy.
Once we returned to the states, we were able to secure a very generous donation to the orphanage of about 30 bottles of both Infant & Children’s Tylenol by a local doctor. We shipped these out right away and felt some peace that our son would find relief from fever when needed.
So, why I am telling you all this story now? Because I think it has something to do with the fact that my husband and I both shed some tears this evening as we held our feverish child. Poor Isaac is having a hard time getting over the flu. Yet I think his parents may be having an even harder time of it. Though we certainly have the medicines to reduce his fever, and we have the means to get him medical attention if necessary, and we live in a world of 24-hour pharmacies … Vapo-Rub … humidifiers… etc. I think we still share some PTSD regarding the helplessness we felt over Isaac’s well being from the time he was first placed in our arms until the moment he finally came home to us (a 9-month span). While he was in Haiti, we had no control over his health care, his nourishment, his comfort … anything. It was Hell. I promise you. Imagine giving birth to your child and then having him/her taken away from you for 9-months and put into the care of strangers. That is the only way I can describe it. And even that doesn’t sum it up.
Anyway, I don’t think those feelings go away … even after your child comes home. The pain is still there … somewhere … and sometimes it leaks out. And when our Isaac has a fever … Halis and I get very emotional … to the point of tears. Tonight we both stared at our baby boy as he struggled to sleep … and then we looked at one another … and we both knew that if we dug underneath the surface of our sadness … we might fall apart. So we didn’t. And instead, we prepared for a long night of taking turns nursing our boy.
Sleep well baby Isaac. Mommy and Daddy are here to comfort you… always.
Mommy & Daddy