Tuesday, October 23, 2012


A few days ago, I shared with my readers the blog post written by my friend Jenifer Peterson about a baby boy in Swaziland who had been found in a toilet pit. I wanted to share Jenifer's update with you and ask you to continue praying for him and all involved. Here's what Jen has to say:

Swaziland Baby Joseph Petersons framed

The response to the blog about baby Joseph was overwhelming, beautiful and amazing! Almost 600 people read the blog from the AIM website alone and with the number of people who have shared it with friends...most likely close to 1000 people know about this amazing little baby boy and are praying for him!! I wanted to give an update so you all know how to pray.

Claire, Jacob and I went to visit Joseph today. He is no longer under the special light as his jaundice has improved. He appeared much more hydrated today. His eyes were wide open and he was responsive to our touch and our voices. All three of us were able to hold him and sing to him and pray for him. He had a wet diaper while we were there...YAY!! He continues to amaze us...

Over the weekend I have been in touch with two different places that are willing to take Joseph. Two wonderful ministries here in Swaziland that are equipped to take in abandoned babies and children. As Joseph's story continues to unfold, however, I am reminded that he is in God's hands, not mine! The nursing staff at the hospital we visited today informed me that Joseph was going to be transferred to a different hospital. They also let me know that the gogo (grandmother) might be taking Joseph home after the police are through with their investigation. It is clear to me that without knowing the language and without a full understanding of this culture, I am ill-equipped in being an advocate for this baby.

In the last couple of days I have received many emails asking me: "How can I adopt him?"

My first reaction is: "Get in line!!" Believe me, if the road to adopting Joseph was clearly marked, our family would be on it!

The truth is, adoption in Swaziland is complicated right now.  As unjust and unfair as it may seem, it just is not an open road right now. I have trusted sources that tell me this issue is being worked out...I pray, pray, pray that those sources are accurate!

However, above all, I am reminded of a few things:

* We are visitors in this culture...there are so many things we don't understand and even though it is easy to assume 'our way' is superior...we must be sensitive to the way this culture handles these matters.

*As much as I (and perhaps, you!) feel responsibility for this baby boy...he was born into a family, into a community, into a system, into a culture that has to now assume responsbility for him.

*I truly had no right in naming this boy...'Joseph' is just the identity I will always attach to him. He may have been named at birth, the nursing staff may have given him a more culturally appropriate name...perhaps he will be given a name by his gogo or some other caregiver...the point is...God knows his name.

*I will do whatever I can do to be a voice for this child, an advocate for his well-being...but I will not do what is not mine to do. I give those things to the Lord. God help me, I will bite my tongue and stomp my own feet numb if need be...but I will surrender to His Authority and trust in His sovereignty...even when it makes no sense to me.

Baby Joseph truly couldn't be in better Hands than that.

To read more about the Peterson's ministry in Swaziland and follow this story, visit Jenifer's blog at  http://ericandjen.myadventures.org/ .

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