i have not been able to see Adia in two days. yesterday they said (from what i could tell, i have been studying Telugu quickly as i can - however they speak a provincial dialect which is similar, but somewhat different) that most of the family went to the masjid (mosque). today only one woman was there, and said the baby and young girl were out collecting money. the young girl takes the baby around sometimes, outfitted with a placard in Urdu beseeching help; from what i have studied, Islam has a strong imperative for alms-giving.
i'm a little nervous that i've not seen Adia, since i do not know if they would tell me should anything have happened to her. i made extravagant monetary promises to them for tomorrow, but made it clear i would only give such a sum if the child was produced.
over the last two days, a little boy has materialized, who seems about three years old. though dressed in filthy rags (we bought him a new set of clothing tonight) he seems farily well fed, and even a jolly little fellow. naturally i've fallen head over heels for him as well, and am growing quite close to the older girl too. tomorrow we're going to bring new sets of clothing for everyone - though i do not know how many children they might have....
another new character on the scene is a man - the children's father. a decently dressed and able-bodied man of perhaps 40, we saw him quarrelling with the mother when we approached - of course he immediately was all smiles thereafter - and ascertained that indeed, this was the father of these children. we're proceeding very carefully because we do not want to scare them off in any way, so i was unable to express or show my scorn for this man...he looked like a pretty idle fellow, smoking and drinking chai. i tried to ask the mother if he works, and from what i could understand he 'has none'. i daresay he should be looking harder.
my sympathy for the women increases daily - it is true that a mother should protect her children, and not produce more children than she can care for - but equally true that in this culture a woman cannot refuse a man, either in the 'capacity' of a wife, or in the running of a household. indeed, i believe the blame for this atrocious situation may lie more with he than they...
tomorrow we will visit them again, and hpoefully be allowed to visit the 'house' in which they live. our Telugu speaking friend will accompany us to facilitate better communication.the wonderful news is that many rays of hope have opened up! tomorrow we also meet withthe advocate who has promised to petition the courts to get Adia into the hopsital. if we are successful, as he believes we will be, we will see her in the hospital within the week and on the road to recovery. it will cost over 2 lakhs for a month's stay, and we have contacted some NGOs to help us defray that enormous cost. we have also met with the human rights coalition for Andhara Pradesh. they agree that the very first step is to get Adia into the hospital, and in the meantime they will be researching what options are available thereafter. i have been overwhelmed, actually, with the amount of responses i have recieved from NGOs and charities, all willing to help if they can.
another thing we're going to try tomorrow is to speak to their local Iman (the Muslim priest). it seems like it might be a good thing to have their religious father involved. perhaps he can succeed in persuading them to take Adia to the hopsital, which would of course make everything much easier.
i'm quite in love with all of these children - i really wish there was a legal way for me to adopt all three immediately - sadly it is not so. their 'house' is nothing but a dreadful shamble, a lean-tol shanty next to a residential neighborhood. we are still mulling the potential idea of allowing one or two of the women and the children to live in our home. i can't even begin to think of being worried for our things (we could lock them away if need be) but Mr.Nutmeg is a bit more wary. it's probably good that he's here to balance things else i'd have the whole extended family under my permanent care....anyway i do think it would be good to have the children here where we can help to care for them, and also for them to be in a safe and loving environment instead of out on the streets every day from dawn til dusk. we would have to be sure they are all free from illness first to protect our daughter, and get them any medical care they may require. so mcu hhappening!
i feel rather like i've not had a moment to beathe in the lst few days. nothing much will transpire until tomorrow and i'm going to take the night off...i'm getting a little bit, um, strained and jumpy, so probably need to try for a bit of fun to keep myself healthy enough to help as well as i can.thanks as always for all who take an interest. i would alo like to ask anyone who has any media or NGO connections in the States to please post if you feel called to help. we're trying to publicize Adia's story far and wide to rally as much help and upport as we can - for her, and for other female children in the same plight.