Today morning was a heavy one for me. I sat in my little office space trying to arrange my table as I just keyed my door open. A young beautiful lady came in smiling, carrying a new born baby wrapped in some old baby wrapper. I asked the lady to make herself comfortable on the chair in my office. She sits down saying "thank you ma." Before I could ask her what brought her to our office, I admired a shiny wedding ring that imposed itself on her finger, as she tries to tap the baby to sleep with her left hand. The ring quickly told me she was a new student in the institution of marriage, blessed with a new student in the world....a new born baby. What I didn't understand was why a newly wed, with a new born baby, would make a visit to a counseling unit for women and the family, a unit mostly visited by people with matrimonial and family problems. Well, my inner thoughts were taking me too far in so short a time. I wonder why I was judging the content of the book from its cover.
"Madam, how may I help you?" I asked with a broad smile. Do you know what she said?
"I have come to talk about this baby that I am carrying, She was abandoned to me by a strange girl" Without hesitation, I asked her to save the story for two ears, because I was too shocked to listen to the story alone. I took her hand bag, and asked her to follow me to the office next door, an office of a more senior colleague. We got in and I offered her a sit. To our greatest surprise, this lady said a pregnant girl approached her close to where she is working and told her that she is pregnant for an unknown man, and she has no where to go. The strange pregnant girl was also carrying a small baby girl aged 1 year and 2 months on her back. She says she felt sorry for this pregnant girl, coupled with the fact that she said she was homeless. She immediately called her husband and told him the story. This is what her husband had to tell her:
"If among all the people in Bamenda, this pregnant girl chose but you to narrate her predicament, then you are blessed, bring her home." This woman took the pregnant girl to her home and 4 days later she got into labour and put to bed a beautiful bouncing baby girl. Gosh! There was nothing bought for the baby, not even a single diaper or vest, the young mother herself did not even have a pant to wear. The good Samaritan lady went to the box of her younger baby and took the old things and carried to the hospital. A day later, this lady took mother and child home. To her surprise, the young mother refused to breastfeed her baby giving a flimsy excuse. Out of her meager income, the good Samaritan went out and bought artificial milk for the baby. The young mother went ahead to refuse sleeping with her own baby saying that her other baby of 1yr 2 months may hit the other baby in a sleep. The Samaritan woman again took the young baby and started sleeping with her in her own bed that she shares with her husband. Five days after the birth of this new born baby, the Samaritan woman went to work when her phone rang without stop. she picked up her phone and it was a neighbour calling that the baby is all alone in the house crying. She took permission and rushed home. The mother of the young baby had abandoned her little angel and ran away with the other older baby that she brought. She said she became so confused, but she hoped that the mother of the baby will soon come back. She stayed all through that day and the young mother did not come, she waited all through the next day but the young mother did not still show up. It then dawned on him that the young mother has abandoned her baby to her. Her husband then asked her to inform the government that she is keeping someone else's baby to avoid legal actions against her. Our office then referred her to the Regional Delegation for Social Affairs for action. Hmmm! I have not stopped wondering since morning why a woman would do a thing like that. Is it out of poverty that a woman would do such a thing? I wonder what the story of this woman would be. She obviously has a story behind her actions...I cannot judge her. The new mother of the baby is wondering how she would take care of an unexpected baby, however she says it is God's plan! I stood outside the office veranda as she walks out with the pretty baby in her hand, I looked at her until I could see her no more. I prayed silently to God to take total control.