Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miracles Last Forever

Miracles Last- Ana weighed less than 4 pounds when she was placed in Donna's arms. She was ashen and close to death due to malnutrition and parasites. The doctors told Donna that she would die within a few hours and that Donna should let her slip away. The words were not meant to be cold or cruel, just words based on scores of past deaths.

With lots of love, attention, and baby formula from South Africa, the tiny infant survived her first months. I didn't see or hold her until she was almost two months old. Even then she looked sickly and very frail, her eyes bulged and she seemed detached. Donna and Hilary continued with her daily care and devotion. Near the end of our first rainy season, Ana went into uncontrollable convulsions. For hours they continued and our doctor friend told Donna that Ana was coming to the end of her time with us.

During the night Donna and Ana fell asleep and I found them in the rocking chair about three in the morning. Donna was sure that Ana had died in the night. She did not and that night God performed a mighty miracle. Ana survived and she began to improve, very slowly and at times three steps forward and two steps back.

As a family we decided that we wanted to have our Ana as part of our family. A long and very painful adoption process began. The people from Ana's village region had never heard of adoption, or even the word. After visits to the village and many tearful nights her father agreed to her adoption. Our hearts rejoiced as we knew Ana would not be taken back to a land devastated by drought and disease.

But, things would not go forward without trauma and tragedy. Donna was attacked and sexually assaulted and our family was under threat during a political charade. The girls were threatened and things fell apart. Ana was progressing well in her physical recovery and that was a bright spot. A month later I was forced to send Donna, Hilary and Ana back to the states. I stayed behind with Marily to finish projects and Ana's adoption.

On a bright morning in March the judge stamped the Zambian Adoption Order and Ana was an official member of our family. Weeks later Marily and I were reunited with our family. Ana continued to progress and we were amazed as we watched her. Her legs had been bent like pretzels, due to the malnutrition. She was a joy to every person who crossed her path. Her bright smile and unrestrained love was enchanting.

Due to the stress we were under we left the ministry and moved to Northern Michigan. Ana attended the country school not far from the house. She began playing basketball with me out on the gravel driveway. She learned to dribble and control the ball on the gravel. Her basketball skills seemed to grow quickly. She began playing youth basketball and I got to coach her team a couple of times. During all of this she studied hard and overcame many obstacles in her education. Her early struggles left her somewhat impaired in reading cognition. Donna and Hilary, again helped her overcome her difficulties.

Move forward with me a few years. We moved to a town close by where I was pastoring a small church. Ana began playing basketball and running track. She studied hard and practiced hard and both payed off. On the track, her once bowed legs, set several sprint and relay records. Her ability to dribble the ball and move fast was noted by every team she played against. More than one coach was overheard telling their players to stop the point guard.

Ana was admitted to the National Honor Society and was named by The Detroit Free Press, as an honorable mention All State Point Guard. She left her high school and moved on to college. This weekend she graduates from college and has a good position waiting for her. Her professors have encouraged her to continue on for her Master's Degree in Public Administration. Her dream, work with third world countries improving living standards.

Miracles Last Forever.

1 comment:

  1. What a privilege to read a story like this and to know that it's true. Thank you.