This morning I was woken up just after midnight to someone banging on the outside gate. I thought it was all still a dream but then the doorbell started ringing, probably 10-15 times in a row and then more banging on the door. No one ever comes to the baby house at that time of night, so I was a little scared, to be honest. I attributed it to some drunk who was at the wrong house! It kept on for ten minutes. Whoever was outside would ring the bell about 10 times in a row and then beat on the door for a bit before ringing the bell again. Finally after ten minutes on non-stop noise, I got out of bed to look out the window. Several pairs of feet were outside the gate (and they clearly weren't going anywhere!), so I went upstairs and woke up Tía Lucy (I don't know how the tías were sleeping through all of this!). We went out on the balcony to see who it was… It was the Defensoría saying they needed us to take a baby in an emergency situation. While laying in bed trying to decide what to do, I'd actually thought it could be the Defensoría but decided it wasn't as surely they would have our phone number and could call us if we weren't answering the door! We called Rosa (CDA Administrator and Social Worker) who told us to tell them no and that they could bring the baby back in the morning if they still needed to. To make a long story short, they didn't agree with that answer and we ended up taking the baby.
This baby's story is a really sad story and definitely one of the worst I've heard of since coming to Bolivia. His parents are in the news right now as they tried to kill his two year old sister by giving her rat poison to drink. There is some debate over whose idea it really was (we heard it was both of them but on the news, the mother blames the father), but when the little girl didn't die as planned, she started convulsing and the mother then took her to the emergency room. When asked what happened while at the hospital, she confessed to everything and said she was sorry for what they did. The hospital then called police who arrested both parents. The little girl is still in the hospital (we're not sure if she'll come to us after she recovers or not), and the baby was brought to us. It appears that he has been cared for, and we're not sure why he wasn't also given the rat poison.
He's had a really tough transition. He screamed all night long and refused to drink milk (he's been breastfed so doesn't know how to drink from a bottle). We walked laps outside around the house until about 1:30am when he finally fell asleep. He slept but was pretty restless for the next two and half hours before he was up again and didn't go back to sleep again. He didn't want to eat breakfast but ate his lunch and dinner pretty well. He didn't want milk at all during the day and slept very little. It's taken him two hours tonight but he's finally asleep. We'll see how long he stays asleep!
Keep us (especially Baby J.) in your prayers these next few days… I think we'll all need it!