Grant us the serenity

I have always loved the serenity prayer, whether or not one connects it with religion or God – I think it’s a really beautiful and powerful way to think about life, especially the difficult and raw parts that this type of work exposes you to.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 
Serenity
I never fully got the chance to honor and memorialize Rehema, a beautiful little angel who was with us for just a few short days. I am sorry I never got the chance to meet her, though Jasmine, Dora and Anna have given us a glimpse of her days at the orphanage, and assure us she was taken care of and loved. It appears her mother was unable to get to the hospital and gave birth in unsanitary conditions, then passed away – leaving little Rehema, already premature, with infections she was not strong enough to fight. Her name meant compassion, and I hope we gave her that at least. We will remember you, little girl, and strive to be compassionate to honor your memory. 
Courage
We couldn’t help Rehema – but there are parts of her story that echo things we can help. Her birth was unsafe – we have made huge strides with Light Up the Night, and are over 80% of the way towards our goal. That means we’ve already raised enough to rewire and install solar lighting in the orphanage. Now we are just over $2000 away from being able to install solar lighting in the maternity wards as well. This is crucial – electricity is out several nights a week, and the incredibly hardworking hospital midwives cannot do their job properly if they can’t monitor the laboring mothers and summon more help from the doctors when necessary. 
I also am thrilled to deliver an update on our beautiful boy Peace. As you may remember, he struggled badly to gain weight during his first month – he remained just two kilos. However, thanks to your donations, we were able to fund 24/7 care for him during his second month, and he more than doubled in weight! He’s kept up that progress since then – take a look at him below with baby Shujah, who was not premature and is several months older than him. Same size! And Shujah is NOT a small baby! We’re so proud of how beautifully they are both growing, and were thrilled to hear from Jasmine and co. that they would never have guessed on their recent visit that he had been so premature if they hadn’t already known. 
Shujah (left) and Peace (right)

Wisdom


Asimwe cuddling baby Ebeni
a few weeks ago
Little man giving a sly
smile yesterday
Because this intervention worked so well with Peace, we have been able to help out another gorgeous boy who has been struggling, little Ebenezer Ndogo. He has been lucky to have some of the school kids home for a break from boarding school, giving him lots of extra loving – but we were still worried about his lack of weight gain, vomiting and diarrhea. So in concert with Mama Pendo, we decided to fund four weeks of one-to-one care for him as well – and the results already seem to be showing. Friend of The Small Things Steffi was at the orphanage this weekend, and sent along these pictures of Ebenezer Ndogo already smiling, and looking healthier by the day. We’re thrilled that it’s helping! 
Hope
Beautiful girl Neema Ndogo
Luckily, sometimes we are blessed with babies who are healthy and happy from day one. That seems to be the case with beautiful Neema (who will have to be Neema Ndogo since we already have a Neema, now Neema Kubwa!) who came in over the weekend. She’s only a few weeks old, but already looks wise beyond her years, with a beautiful, thoughtful little face. Neema means hope, and she is ours – we hope that soon all our beautiful babies will thrive as she seems to be doing already. We hope that they’ll all get as big, and beautiful, and sweet, and funny as our Neema Kubwa, two and a half and with dimples that can slay you from a mile away. I personally can’t wait to meet both of our new arrivals, to see how Peace has grown, to try to catch the running toddlers that I held on their first days in the orphanage, just a few days or hours old. It makes everything worth it. 
Maureen, who I met on her first day, comforting baby Peace.
Keep paying it forward, little girl. 
39 days to go.