Melissa, the director of the orphanage, first met them when they were three weeks old. Born at home and having never seen a doctor, they weighed a fragile 2.5 pounds each. Their mother was barely eating enough for herself, let alone to breastfeed two babies. I'm told that sweet Lilly (on the left) had a vacant stare and appeared to be on her way out.
We found out about these babies as we were preparing for our trip and immediately began collecting infant formula. Others did the same, preparing for their own upcoming trips to the orphanage. In the meantime, Melissa helped supply as much formula as she could.
I prayed for Lilly and Rose and hoped to meet them. I wondered what their chances were.
It was a Sunday afternoon, our last full day in Haiti, when I held Rose in my arms. My daughter, Sophia, cradled Lilly. They were beautiful.
When it came time to for them to go home I climbed into the truck with Melissa and their mother, who held baby Rose on her lap. I held Lilly close in my own arms as we pulled out onto the busy road.
Melissa drove us just around the corner to a neighborhood significantly less fortunate than where we were staying. Several children stood outside a collection of small mud huts. They wore no clothes.
We carried the babies into their home and I took in the deficient space a mother shared with her five children- it was no bigger than four of my kitchen tables put together. It was dark inside- the kind of dark that presses on you- and the air was putrid. We brushed the dirt aside, laid the babies on the mattress, and said good-bye.
I smiled at the children outside as we climbed back in the truck.
Some babies in Haiti are blessed to live short lives, taken back to their heavenly home as pure as they came to this earth. I do not know God's purposes with precious Lilly and Rose, but clearly their blessing is to survive.