Adia's family took her out of the hospital, again, yesterday morning.
I cannot describe how devastated I was when I arrived all jolly and armed with my little gifts, and then getting impatient as the kind orderlies ran all over the hospital compound trying to find her, then nervous as she was no-where to be found - I nearly apart when someone finally found in a log-book that she had been discharged around 5 am. She was discharged against medical advice (they had to make their mark on a paper to that effect), and though the nurses and orderlies all were very sympathetic to my position, there was nothing more they could tell me, and nothing more they could do.
They also scooped up the 3,000 rupees i had left for the next day of her care. In the future I will be paying only by the day, which will be a bit of hassle but obviously well worth it.
I grew more and more frantic as I searched all their usual places and they were nowhere to be found - asking nearby businesses was little help. They're all rather annoyed with the way I bring these children into the restaurants and stores - normally they're driven away whenever they approach - and I've the feeling they'd keep mum even if they did have any information. I drove around downtown, Charminar, and every other place I could think of, with nothing to show but a colossal rickshaw fee and broken spirits.
BUT! all is not lost!
When I eventually gave up and went home I finally crashed, and was quite oblivious for the next twelve hours or so (the first significant sleep I'd had in four days, so it was quite needed) - and while I slumbered, Mr.Nutmeg went downtown and found them! In their usual places, little Adia on the ground as usual in a filthy towel and grandmum using her for alms.
Please acvcept my apology if I sound harsh - but I am beginning to feel ire toward Adia's relatives, and buy less and less of their story of 'poor exploited ladies in fear of an evil man'. I found something out yesterday - Adia has been checked into Niloufer hospital, in their gov't ward, every 14 to 20 days since her birth 20 months ago, to be given dextrose treatment for one to two days.
This is how they have kept her alive, and as charitable as i want my thoughts to be, a brief glance at reality tells me that this is a deliberate action to keep her just alive enough to act as their cash cow.
I am angry, though still striving to re-align my thoughts.....angry because I can tell Adia WANTS to survive - after everything she has endured, she still reacts immediately to treatment - and survival is her right. Since I've met her, I've watched her fight continually with everything her little soul has to stay alive despite the abominable treatment which is being foisted upon her, and I cannot help but be angry with those who are placing every obstacle in her way. Despite their background, their culture, their past, what they are doing is no less than slowly murdering her.
Armed with this resolve I called and visited every legal avenue i could today. I had little hope for this, and my suspicions were well-founded...there is literally NOTHING the Indian legal system in Hyderabad can (or will) do against this situation. There is no 'aggression' involved, so it is not considered 'abuse' - there is no provision for neglect. I can keep taking her to the hospital, they can keep taking her out. They can refuse to let her eat or drink. It's their 'right'.
Unless I am able to agitate for justice, there is very little way to get Adia away from these people and into a better environment.
A hearing in which I can petition the court for temporry custody of Adia, long enough to get her proper treatment, is not available until October. Let us pray that we have enough time to wait. In the emantime, that I do not lose track of Adia entirely, I believe it will be necessary to give gifts to the family that will continue to make them find it profitable for them to bring her to where I meet them.
Your prayers and thoughts are needed more than ever.
Many projects are underway to raise funds and awareness for little Adia all around the world. Anyone who wants to take part, in any capacity, is welcome to join our discussions on Adia's forum. We hope to see you there!