By Jonni Sliver

Rafael, Natally, Samara and Ana PaulaRight now the Miriam Children’s Home is sort of living up to its old image – we’ve got babies! Within the last two weeks of 2013 we received four little ones 6 months old and younger!

Samara arrived at 6 weeks of age, together with Bruna, her 15 year old mother. It is heart breaking to say that Samara’s case is the least difficult –  Bruna and Samara came to us because Bruna lived with her mother who was not only sick but contagious and it wasn’t safe for a tiny baby to be in the house with her. As soon as the grandma is well again Bruna and Samara will leave.

Natally (8 weeks old) came to us because her mother has severe mental illness and is a risk to her baby. Natally’s grandma was taking care of her, but social services were informed that the grandma was offering the baby to anyone who would take her, to be free from the responsibility.

Ana Paula (10 weeks old) was found in a crack house when the police raided it. Her teen-age parents were beating each other and the baby arrived here covered in their blood.

Rafael is a whole six months old. He was born with a problem with his intestine JONNI  - Rafael - dez. '13but his mother couldn’t bother to take care of him. The precious little guy was supposed to be taken to the clinic to have an enema every other day but when he came to us he hadn’t had one in ten days. His little tummy was rigid and he couldn’t eat. Rafael spent Christmas Eve with me and Sueli in the emergency room.

One of my favorite passages is in Psalm 139, where God reminds us of how very well He knows us. Verse 16 says that God began writing out His dreams for us before we were born. I look at these four incredible little people, and I am so excited for the dreams God has for them. I know He did not dream for them to be abandoned or neglected, but He did dream safe arms to receive them! He has allowed for us to hold them for Him, to bless them in His name!

And He dreams for these babies’ parents too – for teen-age moms, and for young people too lost in drugs to think of protecting their baby. He dreams of healing bodies and minds and setting prisoners of sin free.

I praise the Lord for the opportunity to be part of God’s plans for these young lives and I am so grateful that you are taking your part too! Bless you for your prayers!

2 thoughts on “Dreams

    • Almost all of the babies we receive are with us for short amounts of time (1 or 2 months), and leave when the judge decides which blood relative will take receive guardianship of the child. That is the case with all three of the babies we have now. We do sometimes have children that go up for adoption, but when they are very young (3 years or younger) they are usually only with us a week or less before they join their new family, because there is a long list of people waiting to adopt babies. In the three years I have been here we only had two cases where we had children for adoption that weren’t adopted quickly, one was a set of twins with serious health problems and the other was an older child (a seven year old boy).
      Sometimes I am asked if the children in the Miriam Home can be adopted by families in the U.S. and I have to say, it is very difficult. In the adoption pecking order blood relatives have top priority, then Brazilian families on the adoption register (the adoptive families within state first and then federal) and only then are foreign adoptions considered. When there is a foreign adoption both of the parents have to be in Brazil for at least one month before the process starts (to be evaluated by social services) and at least one month after, for the adaptation of parents and child to be monitored. The biggest hindrance is it takes five years for the process to become officially complete. Here in the Miriam Home (long before I arrived) a couple adopted a little girl who was being cared for in the home. The couple had the girl for three years when a biological grandmother heard she had been put up for adoption, contested the adoption and won custody. When I asked about international adoptions I was told that the same rule stands – though the family can take their child home, if, within five years, a blood relative steps in and demands their rights the foreign family would have to return with the child. Now you may be thinking that “very difficult” was putting it too lightly!
      Bless you and thank you for your interest in our littlest ones (all three just woke up from their naps, and there is a chorus going on =) .
      Jonni Sliver

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