We met Hope, her mother, and younger brother through Sparrow’s Nest. They all lived inside the temple near our home. During the day the mother would gather recyclables for money while the kids either stayed in the temple or on the side of the street. I began taking Hope and her little brother into Sparrow’s Nest everyday. I would make Hope’s brother hold on to the stroller as I rolled down the streets of Phnom Penh. (Due to Hope’s severe cerebral palsy she cannot walk and is limited in most motor skills.)
After a while, Hope’s mom expressed that she wanted to be freed of the burden of her children; threatening selling them with her main focus on Hope. Other circumstances came about and eventually the Bykota House adopted Hope into their family. She is now being raised in a Christian home setting with other Khmer children.
After Hope joined the Bykota House her mouth started giving her pain. Her teeth were rotting and she developed an abscess causing her pain and making it difficult to eat. Through Rhonda and Mark, founders of the Bykota House, I found out about her pain. They had taken her to the dentist and came to the conclusion that they would need to use anesthesia in order to remove the teeth that were causing the problems. She does not have complete control of her body so when she gets excited she squirms right out of your arms, when she is mad or frustrated she does the same. There is no way a dentist could take out her teeth without getting bitten or severely injuring her or themselves.
After hearing about the need for surgery I wrote once more about Hope, but this time asking my readers to send in money for her surgery. One youth group in Rochester and a children’s church in Olympia gave over $600. This covered her oral surgery and we will have extra money to help finish her vaccination series.
Our hospital visit was an adventure. Everything from us balancing her and a coffee in a tuktuk, to checking in and filling out paper work, to dressing her in an adult sized gown, to taking her back for surgery.
I am not sure if I am ready to be a mom. Very grateful for a husband that helps me manage myself and a child. He will be such a great dad one day.
Taking her into the back room to have them put her under was a bit scary. She was not happy about it, especially when they put the mask over her face. She screamed until she was peacefully sleeping.
After she woke up she was very groggy. She finally began to laugh and smile after about thirty minutes. We had to wait a few hours after the surgery to make sure she woke up and was functioning normally. We were trying to keep her happy for the hours while waiting. I thought it would be creative to get her to make funny noises by copying me. Well her copying me turned into her blowing bloody saliva spit onto my face. This was my first HIV scare. Don’t worry we are both fine.
They finally let us go and during the drive home Hope crashed. (Kaeli and Hope both sleeping in the tuktuk). I am so thankful that everything went well during surgery and Jesse and I are very appreciative of those who donated to help Hope be free of pain.
God is always faithful and I pray for Hope’s salvation and praise God for the testimony this beautiful little girl has.