Last Friday I got back in email contact with Ed & Denise Aulie, missionaries in Puebla/Veracruz whom I worked with for a few years in a previous life. I found out that, last week, Ed was approached in Texhuacan by a Nahuatl man (poor, marginalized, illiterate, barely even speaks Spanish, etc.) whose wife had just died in childbirth. The village clinic told them that the mother died of tuberculosis, and that the baby (who was born at 3 lbs) had TB and HIV. So now this illiterate subsistence farmer was asking for help with the baby. So Ed, naturally, says, "We'll take her." I mean, that's what you would say, right?
So Ed's driving home, calls Denise from a payphone to say he'll be home in a couple hours, and oh by the way, I have a HIV+ newborn with me, so start making preparations.
I'm reading Denise's email thinking, Wow, I forgot that people like this exist in the world. I used to live and work with these people, and they did stuff like this all the time. (Their eldest daughter Grace, now in her late-twenties, married and living in Portland, is a Ch'ol (Mayan) girl they adopted under similar circumstances.) On top of their already double- and triple-booked schedule.
They decided to get labs drawn in the city, and if the baby was in fact disease-free, the only "just and right" course would be to give her up for adoption to an appropriate couple, but that if it was HIV+, they would keep her "until the end." Labs were done a week later, and came back negative for both TB and HIV, so they arranged to have the baby adopted by a dear friend of mine, Maria Elena, whom I had worked with in that village for 2 yrs. She's amazing; I had seriously considered asking her to marry me. She's married to a Mexican pastor now, and they've been unable to have children... it's all truly divinely orchestrated. That baby couldn't be in better hands.
These are people that are running to win the race that is set before them, and in so doing have experienced the power and presence of God, in a real and on-going way across the decades of their lives. I'm so proud of them, and so encouraged by them. I hope you are too.
Here are some pictures:
The father, talking to Ed in the village about what to do
Improvised baby carseat
Maria Elena, husband Mario, and their new baby
after signing papers in the city
an exhausted Ed, final morning with baby
Current Location: home
Current Mood: impressed