A Very Special Birthday

In Haiti nearly 6% of babies die before their first birthday.

Six out of every 100 babies…

Kris.

He was almost one of them.

Almost.

I imagine he was closer to death than any of us who know him can comprehend.

He was almost a statistic, but today Kris beat those odds.

Today this healthy and happy little boy turned one year old with his brave and beautiful mama by his side.

His mother, who has fought for every second of every day of his survival. She chose her little boy over everything.

Emmanuella spoke life over Kris when he was a 3lb premature baby with an infection that wracked his tiny body, overtaking every cell.

She spoke life over him when doing so meant that she herself would lose everything including her home, and her entire family.

She stood firm and spoke life when protecting her baby meant going against people who told her to abandoned him or put him in an orphanage. To give him to someone older, someone better. Even when they said that he would be better off dead, Emmanuella spoke life.

She whispered through tears, words of life while she sat on a broken metal chair next to her baby’s hospital bed for over 55 days. Terrified and alone.

The day she arrived at our center with her little 8lb 2 month old baby in her arms she told a story that rocked every single one of us. She described the things she had been forced to do to rescue her son. She glowed with the fiercest of mama fight even though she herself was just 17 years old. On that day, her voice shook with the unknown, but in that timid voice rang words of life. Believing that she was given this baby for a purpose, and that he would grow up in her arms.

Today, Emmanuella declared in a clear and confident voice, LIFE over her little boy as she laughed and watching him grab fistfuls of his birthday cake.

Watching their journey has been nothing short of breathtaking for every single one of us who has had the honor of knowing and guiding them over the past 10 months.

Kris and Emmanuella found a home at Middle Ground. Their presence in the recovery center is a walking testament to the miracles that happen inside of this place.

Emmanuella will graduate High School next month. Before she came to Middle Ground Emmanuella didn’t know what she wanted to do with her future, it was hard to dream big dreams when just making it through another day was all she could try to do. Today Emmanuella proudly tells us that she wants to study to become a nurse. The nurses that she sees every day in the recovery center have inspired her, and now she wants to study nursing so that she can serve others, just like they served her!

Today is Kris’ birthday, and we are celebrating this seemingly ordinary thing for the miracle that we know it is!

*This story was shared with specific permission from Emmanuella, who wants the world to see her gorgeous son and celebrate him with her today!

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