All day yesterday, I thought about her. I wondered if anyone brought her flowers. I wondered if anyone thanked her for the hard work she does and for the many sacrifices she makes. I wondered if she was pampered in any way…did she get a special meal, even an acknowledgement of the day celebrated by so many? Frankly, I’m not even sure they celebrate Mother’s Day in Thailand.
I had overheard Kay, our hostess in the Hill Tribes of Thailand, talking on the phone. One of the gals they work with had delivered her baby, earlier than expected. After 10 long hours in the pickup over some rough roads, Kay asked if I would like to go with her to the hospital to see the baby and meet the mom, Sunaree. Somehow, the weariness vanished as the thought of a new life in an international hospital was quite intriguing! Given a few minutes to unload our suitcases, we again jumped in the pickup for more driving.
It was a beautiful hospital on the outside. It looked just like one of ours. The inside really wasn’t much different either. What I immediately found different was the ward in which we were in. As Kay, Denise and I walked past the beds, I realized that this was no maternity ward. At the foot of the bed where this 3-hour old baby slept, was a dying grandmother with her family huddled around the bed. Next to the baby was a sick woman with an I.V. connected. Sickness, death surrounded this brand new life.
Kay held the baby and then we prayed for little Hannah. I realized at some point that the baby had no clothes, no diapers…just a blanket. Her mom, a single mom, had no place to go and no way to provide for her child. But still—she chose life for this precious baby. Having worked in a crisis pregnancy center, my mind was kicking into overdrive. What were the resources available? Where was the nearest store? Who could she stay with? Did she know how to take care of Hannah? Needless to say, being an American in the Hill Tribes of Thailand wasn’t exactly helpful.
Sunaree now lives with her mother-in-law. Hannah is a healthy 7 month old baby. Her momma works hard to support her. I don’t know if anyone told her “Happy Mother’s Day” yesterday. But I do know that I am proud of her for choosing life. I know the sacrifices she has made, the long nights and yet the joys experienced in raising a child. From a distance, I am cheering her on and praying for her and Hannah. When you support Mercy Market through the purchase of our products, you are doing the same. Your help brings hope into lives of desperation and not only are we grateful—so is Sunaree and many others like her.