August began bitter-sweet when on the 10th, one day before her 4th month birthday, we sent Akou home to live with her family. The day was much anticipated by her mother who had sat attentively at her bedside for 122 days, awaiting the fate of her premature little girl. She had more than doubled her birth-weight, was taking all of her feeds by bottle and no longer had any reason for an IV. As I celebrated with her family and the hospital staff, I realized that this little fighter had become a part of our family as well. Gathering around the scale each day, holding our breath to see how many grams she had gained or lost, became part of our morning ritual. We were all united in hope and prayer that the Lord would somehow provide care that was beyond our resources…….and He did.
Although I am sometimes sad to look in the corner of the Pediatrics Ward and see an empty isolette, I am quickly reminded that the emptiness is a sign that she is home and thriving. While we often have empty beds in the Pediatrics Wards due to death, the Lord, in His mercy and grace, chose to show His power through Akou.
As I have previously mentioned, infants here don’t get named until the family feels confident that the infant will survive. Initial names are given that are based on the day of the week the child was born (Akou is for a girl born on a Wednesday). I had often asked Akou’s mom when she was going to give her a name. Often she would just smile and shake her head. So naturally, when I saw her a few days after she was discharged from the hospital, my first question was “What is her name?!”
I’m not sure if she will ever be anything but Akou to me. But in the Old Testament, Ruth was a symbol of loyalty, kindness, and redemption—what a true testimony to what God has already done for her in her life thus far! Please continue to pray for Ruth and the future the Lord has in store for her. Thank you for being a part of her journey and interceding on her behalf in prayer. Let us praise the Lord together for what He has done so that His glory may be known in many nations today!
Grace and Peace