On Saturday, while bringing a group of 24 Canadians to meet a sponsor child in San Antonio Panec, I was invited by a woman to come pray for their family. One of the cases in the home dealt with an 8-year-old boy who has massive sores all over his bottom. I almost burst into tears when I saw the sores, they are that bad. We prayed for him, his drunken father, and his older sister who was having bad thoughts about her husband.
While praying, I decided to make him an appointment and personally take him to the best local doctor I know. A friend of Amber's had sent money to help a needy family. Last night, their project director dropped the little guy off at my house with his 13-year-old sister (one of 6 siblings he lives with). I drove them up to the clinic and went into the examining room with them.
As the doctor interviewed the boy, I learned that he isn't one of the siblings, but rather a nephew, a son of the oldest brother who works in the north of Guatemala. His aunt, the girl, explained further that his mom used to hit him a lot, lock him up in the house alone day and night, and rarely fed him (when she did, she would put hot chilis on the food). When he was a toddler, his grandmother (now his adopted mom), went to court to have the child taken away from his mom. He still looks severely malnourished, weighing only 50 lbs.
The physical exam revealed that all of his lymphnodes were badly swollen signifying that the infections from the sores had spread through much of his body. We got a prescription for meds and I drove them home.
Driving home, as I wound my car by a stray horse, drunks, people on bikes and other vehicles (with no headlights), I was reminded once again how incredibly broken these people are. This boy barely spoke a word the entire evening even though he was in pain, hungry, wearing the only set of clothes he has, itchy from all the scabies he has, tired, and perhaps a little anxious from having his first doctor's appointment. He did say "gracias" before shutting the car door at his path.
It's tough not thinking that I could adopt this boy and other children I meet with such difficult circumstances. I need to remind myself that they would be happier with their own families and that I can't adopt from Guatemala.
I have no point to this post. I was moved, that's all.