Week 7: God's gift
In the fall of 2012 my husband and I decided that we wanted to grow our family through adoption. It was because of West African Mercy Ministries (WAMM) presence in Ghana that we learned of a little girl who was to become our daughter. We are thankful beyond words for the work of WAMM on behalf of children who have no one. That was once our daughter.
In November of 2012, Debbie McIntyre, one of the founders of WAMM, learned about a little girl with special needs who was in need of a family. Our now daughter, Nyamekye ("Nya"), had been completely abandoned 5 months prior and when found was severely malnourished, sick, and covered in scabies (a skin condition). It was estimated that she was around 1 year of age at the time. After being found alone, she spent the night at the police station and was admitted to a hospital the following morning. There she was placed in isolation and treated for scabies over the next 2 weeks. It was there that one of the nurses named her Nyamekye, meaning "Gift of God". From the hospital, Nya was brought to a large orphanage.
Unable to walk, Nya spent her days sitting in a chair against the wall watching other children play. Nya was outcast at the orphanage, due to her facial appearance (she had a severe lazy eye). We learned that initially there was only 1 worker at the orphanage who would touch and care for Nya. Because she was barely fed, she was unable to walk until she was over 2 years old. Because she was not spoken to, she did not speak. When our adoption agency initially visited the orphanage and inquired about Nya upon our request, they were met with blank stares and then turned away. It wasn't until later, after being shown a picture, that the staff knew which child we desired to adopt. It turned out that they did not call Nya by her name.
Our adoption process took 1 year and 2 months and was strewn with many obstacles. It was agonizing to know that our daughter was not being loved or even properly cared for. Multiple times we tried to move Nya to HOMe, but due to politics, we were unable to do so. As we worked and waited to adopt Nya, staff of WAMM visited her and checked in on her. Other than our social worker, they were the only visitors she had. Pastor William and his wife Priscilla, who are the house parents at HOMe, prayed for and supported us and our daughter through the long wait. It was such a comfort to know that someone in country was watching out for Nya as much as possible.
In January 2014, we finally brought Nya home. She is thriving in her new life! She is full of joy and is so eager to give and receive love. And she can walk and talk! She has undergone 2 eye surgeries and had a hole in her heart repaired. We cannot count the number of times we've been told, "She would have died had you not adopted her. You saved her life." But we couldn't have adopted her had we never known of her precious life. Again, we are beyond grateful for WAMM because without their presence in Ghana, we likely never would have even known of Nya's existence.
At HOMe, not only are children given new identities but, to date, all of the children who have been legally adoptable have found their forever families. This is very contrary to what takes place at orphanages like where our daughter was, where the very sick children are usually not even seen by those wishing to adopt. I will never forget the words of our social worker in Ghana after we had received the final paperwork to be able to take Nya home. Between tears she said, "Thank you so much for what you are doing. If it weren't for you and Josh, no one would have come for her."
My husband and I are passionate about the work of WAMM through HOMe! At HOMe, children are cherished as individuals. We have seen, firsthand, the opposite take place with an abandoned child. Our child.
Whether you know our precious daughter or not, we would like to ask you, readers of Nya's story, to join with us in supporting HOMe through the Eight Campaign. Even though it only takes $8.88/month, this is no small thing. 100% of your donations go to caring for the precious children at HOMe. Together we can fully fund HOMe and enable HOMe to continue to take in sick and outcast children and provide them with new lives that include family, wonderful care, bright futures, and most importantly lots of love. Thank you!
Nya at the Orphanage (Top Left), Nya meeting Mom (Second from Left), Nya and Mom and Dad (Third from Left), Nya enjoying summer, (Top Right), Nya's first Thanksgiving (Bottom)
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