On February 28 the biggest dream of my life came true and on March 20 the biggest nightmare I ever had came true. I have dreamt for my whole life about having 20 children. You don’t think when you are blessed with children about how long you will be given the gift of loving and caring for them. I hoped it would be as long as possible even though I pray and long for all of my children to have “forever homes”. When I went to the gvnmt orphanage on February 28 and was given 2 babies my heart was overwhelmed with joy. I love babies!! Everyone knows that, but also I love to rescue the children at a young age so they have a greater chance of survival. When the woman handed me Levi I just knew this would be his name. I also knew the same about George…they fit their names:-) Levi was very pale from day one. He had a little cough but nothing too bad. From the first day those became “my” boys!! I was their Momma. They didn’t have another momma…I was it:-) Levi woke up about 2-3 times every night for milk. The Ayis who work in the day didn’t want to hold him or care for him much because he was so tiny. He weighed just under 6 Lbs. All of the clothes I had just hung on him. I kept him swaddled most of the time and when he wasn’t asleep in his bed he was in my arms. I didn’t leave him very much at all. I have never birthed a baby but I can’t imagine loving any natural born baby more than my babies I have now. Levi was no exception. He slept most of the time but also spent time looking around at me or other surroundings. One day, in the first week he was with me, he was sleeping in my arms and he smiled. It was one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen. I immediately thought, “he must have just seen the face of Jesus”. It was angelic! I called him my “tiny love”. I bought a special baby swing and carrier for him. He was most always in the baby carrier attached to me. People thought he was my baby because his skin was so white. He didn’t look very chinese but I always told people “he is a Chinese baby with my skin:-)”. On the morning of March 20 Levi woke up at 5am like normal but was not interested in his milk. I swaddled him in his carrier and held him-I had to get the other children up and fed but the whole time he was in my arms fussing off and on. He seemed to be very congested. I put oils on him and after the Ayi got here I called my mom and asked about some other meds to give him. I hated to give him anything too harsh because he was so tiny. He continued to have trouble breathing so I gave him a breathing treatment. This didn’t help at all. I took him to the volunteer apartment because they have a western shower and I thought maybe I cold steam up the room and that would help him breathe. I called the girls there and they got it started while I was on my way over. I had been holding him the whole day…when we got into the steam I gave him some antibiotics and he calmed down for a few minutes. It wasn’t too long before he started fussing again and I was at a loss as to what to do. i had been texting my sister, who is a nurse. She said I could give him some tylenol and that might help him. So I did…after that I was so worried. I never had the real thought that he would die…I had fleeting thoughts about it in the morning and it was almost noon at this point but nothing helped. I just held him and tried to calm him. But no more than 15 minutes later he breathed his last breath. I couldn’t believe it. I ran out of the apartment and ran to find our driver. I shouted his name and all the people around were watching me and listening. He came running and I screamed “He is dead!!, I don’t know for sure!!”. We jumped in the car and I continued the CPR had been giving him, all the way to the hospital. I was weeping and talking to him the whole time and to God. We ran in the hospital and they made us go to the 7th floor. Hospitals are so different here. No ER with immediate care. We had to wait for the elevator:-( The nurse was doing CPR while I held him. We finally got the the 7th floor and I laid him down on the bed and they hooked him up to oxygen and kept up the CPR. That was the first time I had put him down since 5am and I knew that my Tiny Love was not with me any more. He just laid there, lifeless with his little baseball outfit on. My friend had given me some clothes that week and of course I chose the baseball outfit. After about 10 min they stopped. I was sobbing, as I had been the whole time. The woman in the hall told me to stop crying, she said it’s just a little child. I sobbed louder. I asked the nurse if I could pick him up and I picked his little body up once again…I sat there and held my beautiful, dead baby and sobbed. I talked to him and to God. “Oh Lord, What have I done? What should I have done?” I knew it must have been his little heart. Many Downs Syndrome kids are born with hearts that need fixing. He hadn’t been congested from a cold, his little heart was failing and he was only given to me to love and to know a momma’s love until he went to be with his Father. He experienced a momma’s love for almost a month and now he knows his Father’s love. He has no pain…he breathes. I felt as though I couldn’t breathe and Levi was in Heaven breathing with Jesus. That last time he opened his eyes, looked at me and breathed his last breath…I will never forget how he fought to breathe that last breath and then went limp in my arms. My stomach felt like I had just went down a roller coster and fallen off. So many emotions…my baby Levi was gone from my love into the love of the Father. It happened so fast. There were so many details to work out but I just sat there and held my lifeless baby. My driver, Xiao Chen, went and did the paper work for me. Marianne came and sat with me for a while. She seemed to be the only comfort at this moment. She knows this pain so many times over. She understood and encouraged me to express my emotions. She said we must show the chinese people that it is ok to grieve. She said if he had been in the orphanage no one would have cried over his death. But we get to cry for him…We mourn his death!!! He was loved and I loved him with all the love I could…now I grieve for myself…He is safe in the arms of Jesus and I grieve my loss!! I sat on the edge of that bed and held him from 12:30-3:45. At 3:45 the man came to get his body. I carried him out of the hospital all wrapped up and had to put him in a big white truck with a tube like container in the back. It was metal and the man told me to put him inside…I sobbed and kissed his little doll like face for the last time. I have never felt so empty as that moment. I laid him in and the man closed the metal tube. Then shut the door of the truck. People were watching me. I was alone. No one weeps over the dead here…especially not a baby. I walked home form the hospital with his baby carrier wrapped around me, very alone and empty handed. It was about a 30min walk and I cried as I saw the white truck pass by me. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful day to go to heaven and be with Jesus. I didn’t want to go home but at the same time I longed for the other children and their love at that moment.
Many people called and wrote notes and 2 of my friends from Guiyang came over that night. It was nice to have friends around. Talked about him and remembered his sweetness. No memorial service here…just memories to share with each other. I had to explain to the Ayis and the children when I came home. They didn’t care for him but they teared up a bit with me. They thought telling me I have 19 other children would comfort me…I was beyond comforting. My soul aches from the deepest part. I can not explain the pain…unless you have lost a child I don’t really think you can understand. Nor do I want you to understand!!! I didn’t like people telling me to be strong for my other children and that God had a plan…I know all this!!! I am hurting!!! I just need to hurt!! I can not explain how I feel…I didn’t want to get out of my night clothes…I wanted to stay at home and hug all my babies and never leave. i couldn’t take the baby carrier off…I tried 2 times but failed in a puddle of tears. When I finally took it off I felt like that was the end….I will no longer hold my sweet Levi again until heaven. I wept without stopping for hours.
It has been 4 days now…there have been many more tears. i don’t know how I have gotten to this point…I truly believe God has me under His wings and is carrying me through. I don’t know how to heal. I read yesterday in Psalms about how we need to rejoice in the Lord. I have read this so many times in my life and for the first time I felt like I didn’t know how in the world to do this. I don’t want to rejoice. I want to frown. I don’t want to go on. But really when I think about it I want to rejoice!!! I want to rejoice in the Lord!!! HE GAVE LEVI LIFE!!! Eternal life! How in the world could God send his son to the earth to die for me???? I am not worth dying for!!! I am horrible!! I don’t even want to rejoice in the Lord??!! God knows how I feel?! SO wonderful to have a God who knows my pain and cares about me and does have a plan. He wants me to grow to be more like him…to be thankful!!! I really don’t know how to be thankful but God can help me. HE is helping me as I type. I am SOOOOO grateful to have had Levi in my arms for 3 and 1/2 weeks. I loved him like my own. through every night feeding and poopy diaper…I loved him. Through the pain of his death I can rejoice because God loved me enough to send His son for me…then he loved me enough again to send me Levi…my Tiny Little Love…My angel. I am grateful friends…I am hurting from the depths of my soul and I am so thankful to MY GOD who has a plan and a time for life and a time for death. He knows all things and is in all things. I will chose to keep going and loving like I will never lose because that is what HE has called me to do. I love love….I love my babies…the ones in heaven and my Tiny Love in heaven.
Levi, God holds you now…just like He is holding your Momma:-)