She was waiting eagerly for me at the reception because she has been told that someone is interested in her baby. Immediately she was called into the office after some pleasantries, I addressed her,what is your baby's name? she is Precious was her answer, "I learnt you want to sell your baby, I am interested, I want to buy Precious". She said "yes ma" hearing the affirmative, I continued, "Your price is N50,000.00 (334dollars), I am ready to pay, the child will be going home with me" She raised her face adn pleaded, "Please not today ma, her countenance changed "do not go home with her today" She did ot want to leave the child but she wants to collect the money. I instructed her to look at me straight in the face and asked "have you ever seen someone who paid for an item in the market and left it for the seller? She did not respond. What of someone who want to sell her Precious gift? She refused to look at my face again.
The baby looks so sweet and innocent, she was all play all through the interview adn the Nurses acclaimed of the child's quietness and thebonding between mother and child because she still sucks breast except precsently when they had to introduce local corn paste recently.
Her mother died when she was a young teenager, leaving her two brothers, their father fled when the responsibility was too much and did not look back or return, relations of her mother took over the responsibility of and the three of them were shared among the deceased brothers and sissters, she was brought to Lagos by an Aunt and she did not hear from her brothers since then, but she knew that they are in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria.
On getting to Lagos, she met five other girls living with the so called aunt who sells liquor during the day and the girls at night. She was automatically introdueced to prostitution, but when she coud no longer cope, she ran to another side of Lagos, and began to live with another lady, until she met a man named Malachi who impregantaed her and ran way. The baby is more thatn six months old now and the lady accommodating her hates the baby, that is whey she wants to get rid of the baby and gather some money through that to rent a place and start a new life.
The Experts Advise
Mother K-Lee Starland taught me how to handle the situation and I sought audience with the Project Head of the NGO, she was so appreciating and approachable she said, though the organisation has decided to adopt the baby but for four reasons, she would prefer that we join hands together to support the mother and child while she takes care of her child since she loves the baby dearly but can no longer cope with the financial responsibility. These are the reasons; to give the child backgound, a sense of belonging, family base care and affection and care.
The project head introduced another lady who had a severe case of polio in chhildhood adn was impreganated by a Pastor who denied paternity because of her disability but I informed her that I work basically on Child Sexual Abuse but will visit them ASAP. I began to think about women and chhildren, teh vulnerability becasue of poverty and the minute number I can work with. I sighed.
With promise of support form both sides, I departed and promised to check on her again. We may not be able to assist all the poverty srticken women and children but we can touch lives, one after the other.