i have marvellous news - Adia is in the hospital!
unfortunately the good news comes with bad as well; she went into a state of shock today. this time i went on my visit alone, and without the presence of a male the mother was willing to talk with me extensively through our translator.
sometime this afternoon the mother and aunt were collecting alms in their usual spot whn the baby's eyes rolled back in her head and her limbs went limp, then rigid. the women began to scream and someone called an ambulance, which took Adia to the St.George charity hospital. she is still there this evening - they are rehydrating her intraveniously and her condition is now stable; she is responsive and conscious.
the problem we now face is that the hopital will not treat her for more than 48 hours without advance payment or a guarantor of pay. her fulltreatment of perhaps a month of hospitalization will cost over half a lakh rupees, a very substantial sum. tomorrow we will visit Adia in the hospital and register ourselves as guarantors of the bill, paying about half up-front.
i have been so overwhelmed by the kind generosity of many who have read Adia's story. we will continue to be very grateful for any donations from those who feel called to help. one way you could help would be to list one of your items in your shop for charity. this will be of help not only for fundraising, but for public awareness as well - you can aquaint your buyers with Adia's plight by linking to the blog i'm writing, http://thestoryofadia.blogspot.com
please, though, do not feel pressured to help monetarily unless you feel inspired to; we are very grateful also for your thoughts and prayers! we are in contact with some NGOs here who, though underfunded, may be able to provide assistance, and also some Catholic missions through Mr.Nicholas' church. we are quite confident that the money will come with dedication and help from so many good people.
today Adia's mother placed a great deal of trust in me and was willing to discuss matters quite openly. i was able to find out many things which shed new light on the situation. Adia's starvation was mandated by her father, the man whom i saw yesterday. in her infancy she had difficulties breastfeeding, and grew thin and weak - the father declared that a 'sick' girl was not to be given food when they had boy children to be fed. bravely going against his orders, the women of the family kept Adia alive with sugar-water and milk.
Adia's mother fears greatly for the future of her children. her wish is that she could turn them over to me, all four - but cannot for the father would beat or even kill her when he found out. the father, she says, is a bad man from whom the children and women live in constant fear, and he will not work. i believe the women of ther family to be as oppressed as the children - she showed me a huge scar on her abdomen from where he burned her with a hot chapati pan.
now that Adia is in the hospital, our first priority is to ensure that the father cannot withdraw her. we will continue with our plan to petition the court for temporary custody.
the next step is to find a long-term solution for Adia and her three siblings (there is also a boy of eight years whom i have not met). the 'house' in which they live is a miserable lean-to without electricity, water, or sanitary facilities. with a father who refuses to work and intent on using his children for begging instead, they are unlikely to ever recieve any education and their future prospects would be grim indeed.
when Adia is released from the hospital in good health (insh'allah), we will again petition the court, this time for permanent termination of parental rights and the permission to act as temporary guardians until an adoptive family can be found - preferably one who will not separate the siblings, and can provide for their special needs both physical and emotional. an Indian couple would be best so they could be raised within their own culture and religion, and to hasten the adoption process; if onme cannot be found we will expand our search to couples abroad as well. we are still considering whether we have the ability to permanently take four special-needs children into our home - whether it would be feasible with finances, visas and travel, and the impact it may have upon our own daughter.
one of the first steps i think we should take is to find a safe environment for the women of the home - so they could provide evidence against the father without fear of retalliation, and to release them from their servitude to this very unkind man. there are organizations here which will provide shelter and gainful employment to such women - these too are underfunded, but we may be able to make a donation to such a place to secure their acceptance.
so much to do! - but a huge weight has been lisfted from my shoulders to know that Adia is now in a place of comfort, safety and care. we will speak to the doctor tomorrow directly and hear what he has to say about her condition and what treatments she will need - i will update everyone tomorrow on what he says.
please continue to keep Adia and her family in your thoughts and prayers; we are ever grateful to all who take an interest in their plight.