Batman and Robin

Happy Peace

Peace (11 months) and Shujah (13 months) are two little guys who have only been with us for a short time, but have made a big impression on everyone they’ve met. Shujah literally means “hero” in Swahili, and these two are definitely a double act, so I’ve started referring to them as Batman and Robin. They are just two months apart and completely inseparable – not to mention painfully cute! 

Sweet Shujah

They had very different starts in life – Shujah was born full term and healthy, while Peace was very premature and had us all worried for a long time. Shujah has been incredibly sweet and smiley since day one – when I was here in December he would sit in his baby chair and flirt with everyone who walked by. Peace has taken a little longer to get there, although he has always been an extremely laid back baby. In fact, his original name was Daoudi (as you might remember), but the mamas renamed him Peace because it fit his temperament so well. It was several weeks before I even heard him cry!


The boys in December

Since then both have gained weight at an astonishing rate – they are just the cutest little butterballs that you can imagine. They’re both also supremely cheerful kids nowadays, impossible to ruffle, thrilled to play with anyone who will come hang out with them. Shujah is now crawling, although only if baited with an appropriately exciting toy, generally someone’s cell phone. Peace is up on his hands and knees and rocking, but doesn’t seem to care if he ever moves beyond that. I think it’s part of his laid back style – he’s generally pretty happy wherever he is, so why go to so much effort to move? Both are babbling, although without recognizable words – we frequently come into their room to find them talking to each other through their crib bars, so they seem to have an understanding!

Big fat Peace today

I wanted to write about these two today for a few reasons. First, of course, they’re beautiful and a joy to be with, photograph, video, or write about. More importantly, though, Peace was the very first baby we implemented our one-to-one protocol with, where we pay for an additional mama to be one-on-one with premature babies until they have reached a healthy weight and size. Peace didn’t gain an ounce his first month before this was implemented – he doubled in weight his second month and has been growing almost as fast ever since. I wanted to show what a difference that policy has made, and how incredibly lucky we are to have this gorgeous boy with us. It’s also a bit of a bittersweet moment, as we look back at Reziki and Rehema and other children that we’ve lost along the way, and think of how big and beautiful they might have been. However, I’m confident that we’re doing the right thing with this program, and that we are doing everything we can to give these kids the start in life they deserve. Employing a mama full time for one-to-one care costs just a few hundred dollars, and it gave us this incredible kid. Thank you to all of you for being part of that.

Now on to the fun stuff: 
 
Peace blowing kisses 

 
Batman and Robin chatting to each other 

 
Peace blissed out over his favorite toy 

 
Shujah crawling 

 
Peace playing peekaboo

I can’t wait to write a post like this when little Ebenezer has come this far. We’re so proud of you both, little guys!