It has been now 7 years since I started work at Noah’s Ark. In that time I have seen a lot of children arrive into this big family. Nearly all have come via the police, abandoned, neglected, or for whatever reason. Last Sunday I was my turn to go with Bosco and pick up a new child. An unexpected turn of events. While I was playing with the children, unexpectedly, Uncle Warwick asked me to come with him in the ambulance for an emergency. The police had called concerning a small baby, they called it an emergency. Piet and Pita were not present, and so I was allowed to come along. I did not need one second to think about is, naturally I would gladly go. A few minutes later there we were in the ambulance with wailing sirens on our way to the police station in Kampala. At the front desk we only needed to mention that we came for the baby. We were referred to another metal hut. On a chair we found a small male, about a month old and sleeping.
At first glance he looked like a healthy little guy, with round cheeks and a lovely smile when he woke up. Luckily not nasty situation! His mother had left him in the morning in the lodge. The parent had come the evening before, had slept there and in the morning they exited the gate to do shopping (so everyone thought). But they never came back and the baby was left behind with all his stuff: A bag full of cloth, his multivitamins drops and even a carrying bag. It sound funny, but this is even less comprehensible then when we receive a very neglected child. It only took a couple of minutes, a talk with the police, a signature and there we were on our way back home; a new family member richer.
We named him Patrick. In past period we already had two Patrick’s, but every time after 2 weeks we had to say farewell because the mother came to collect het child. The first time Patrick was found by a good Samaritan, the child’s uncle, who was supposed to baby sit the children for a day, did not feel like it and pretended he had found them someplace. The second time the mother and father had a misunderstanding, but luckily Patrick could go back to his parent quickly. The Police suggested this name. Let’s hope that it is a blessed name and that this mother also quickly searched for her baby. Until then; I enjoy cuddling this little man when in the evening I take the care upon myself.
Funny really, on the one hand it is a sad moment, again a child that has lost its parents. But it was also very special to have been able to experience this. This little man that on that day was suddenly a “nobody”, now again is somebody, namely our Patrick!