She left about 2 weeks ago. He was very emotional about it and moved to tears because of his struggles with caring for their baby son on his own. Not to mention he was very angry and saying rather matter-of-factly that he wanted to kill his wife. He also said he had resolved to give his son away to someone who could care for him, but then he remembered that his son was a gift from God. As he talked with us, the little boy snuggled up against his father and started to cry as he looked at our strange (that is, white) faces. He hadn't eaten yet, so we warmed up some milk for him. He had no bottle, but he was used to just sipping from a cup. Mid-way through our conversation with the father, the baby decided to fill his pants, and since he was only wearing underpants, things got a little messy. Thankfully, Caleb's XL diapers fit around his chubby legs!
The father then told us that he had actually hoped that we could have cared for the baby. At that moment, my heart melted as I looked at the adorable baby boy, all smiles with us now that his tummy was full. But at the same time, I knew this was not God's will for us, not at this time anyway. Since it's common for extended family members to care for children, we asked the father if he had any relatives who could help him. In the end, we helped pay his way to his village, where his mother and sisters lived, which is two days away--a long bus and boat ride away from here.
I've wondered many times how they're doing. Did they make it to the village, or did the father change his mind? How is the little guy doing? Is he healthy? Is he hungry? Will his grandmother and aunties lovingly care for him or will he simply be another mouth to feed? Will he ever see his mother again? And most importantly, will he grow up to know and love His Maker? So many questions, but no answers. The silence in the unanswered questions reminds us to leave this father and little boy in the Lord's hands.
"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11