Baby Princess with items brought to her in the hospital by AAI families
In late 2010 I received an out-of-the-blue email from Martha Osborne (from Rainbow Kids). It's very common for adoption agencies and advocacy groups to be contacted by people in foreign countries who claim sad circumstances for "orphans" who need help. Most often these emails are scams. It's easy to become calloused and assume they are all fake situations. However, Martha received an email that she said she had a feeling about. She didn't erase it immediately. She thought there was a possibility it was genuine. Could AAI check it out?
I responded to Dr. Y, who is a resident at a hospital in Ghana. Very quickly it was obvious that this was a real situation. Dr. Y had come to know Baby Princess. This baby had been abandoned at her hospital. The hospital had been giving her care, but nothing extra. Dr. Y arranged for her to receive the life-saving shunt surgery Baby Princess needed. She went even beyond that, reaching out to those in America that might be able to help find Baby Princess a family. Babies with this condition in Ghana simply do not have a very good chance at long life.
Baby Princess with Dr. Y post surgery
Our team in Ghana began to work with Social Welfare, the hospital, and Dr. Y to be able to legally "free" Princess from the hospital. However, finding care for a baby with her special needs is not an easy task in Ghana. Princess needed a home with caregivers who understood her special need. She needed a home with clean surroundings and better-than-average resources for her care. AAI could provide financially for Princess, but we could not give her the hugs, and tummy time, and developmental challenges she would need to thrive.
I began putting out the word that we were in search of a foster family for a very special little Princess. For weeks I searched. People came together and told me of one person, who knew of another person, who might be able to care for Princess. During that time I made some great connections with people who are able to care for children in Ghana with more severe special needs, but nobody was able to take Princess at that time. We expected Princess to be released from the hospital "any day." Where would she go? I can tell you that during this time it was hard to find sleep at night!
I went to a social networking site, looking for any connection to anybody in Ghana who might be able to give this deserving and precious baby a home. On a whim I contacted City of Refuge Ministries--an organization that is focused on rescuing children who have become enslaved in the fishing industry in Ghana. I had heard good things about the home, but didn't "know" them at all. I sent the email with very low expectations. However, after a few days I received the email I had been hoping for! City of Refuge had conducted a board meeting and decided they would be happy to welcome Baby Princess into their home!
What transpired then none of us could have predicted. All of a sudden the "rush" to find a home for this child was put on hold as red tape kept her from leaving the hospital. Many weeks passed by. City of Refuge, Dr. Y, and our team in Ghana continued to advocate for Baby Princess. Finally, on Friday February 4th, Baby Princess was allowed to leave the hospital and join her new foster family. Our Princess has found her "castle!"
In the next several months we expect Baby Princess to become available for adoption. All of us invested in her life so far are waiting in anticipation to see how the rest of her story turns out. We know that this is a special child, with a special purpose.