Monday, July 29, 2013

Rest In Peace, Jonathan

Jonathan passed away yesterday.


That's what we (my two Dutch roommates and I) decided to name him.

Jonathan arrived into the world on the 15th of July and I can tell you the gist of his life story right here.

He was born and taken immediate from the maternity wards to the corner of the hospital that hang out in - the one for all of the abandoned babies.

One his second or third day on this earth, I got to meet him. He was a handsome little guy but oh, oh so tiny. He was the smallest baby I had ever seen - definitely a jaundiced preemie.

Not only was he born a preemie but a Roma (Gypsy) baby as well. Roma babies are some of the most beautiful children -- and also, sadly, terribly discriminated and prejudiced against in Ukraine.

I don't know the circumstances surrounding his birth. I don't know what was going on with the mom. There are a bunch of cliche guesses. I can only begin to imagine the emotions she went through or how she is now.

He was never given a name that I could learn of. Maybe she gave him a name, but it was never made known to the world.

I remember the day I met him. I scooped up his little body and cuddled him, telling him how much he was loved. He just slept. He was precious. He was perfect.

One of the nurses came in and I got a gentle scolding and was told to put him back.

Chances are, he wasn't really ever held. I've seen the nurses. They don't cuddle the babies. They don't hold them. To feed them, they prop up bottles with blankets.

As for germs -- if only I was the germiest thing he would encounter. The hospitals here are far from sanitary and, to be honest, I'd rather put a baby in the grass than in one of those hospitals. I know a baby with boils had been in the same bed he was in now.

So I didn't feel bad at all for getting in trouble for holding Jonathan. Babies are meant to be cuddled.

At the age of 13 days old, Jonathan died.
Sweet little one.
Rest in peace.

If you're not sure what's up - here's the brief.

I'm currently spending time in Uzhgorod, Ukraine lovin' on babies that have been abandoned at the hospital. Simple as that. The not so simple part? Not only do the babies miss out on snuggles and kisses, the hospital doesn't have enough money for diapers and medicene for them. If we (the volunteers) don't bring diapers, the babies don't have diapers. Simple as that.

The place I'm living at, the Nehemiah Center, is setting up an apartment to be equipped to host three different moms and their babies at once. We're trying to keep the babies from ending up abandoned at the hospital in the first place.

This place is going to be a refuge for moms that want to abandon their babies. This will be a place for them to go and bond with their baby when the "real world" is too much for them - when circumstances don't line up right in a way that they feel that they can care for a baby.

There is a need for baby-furniture (cribs, changing tables, a baby bath) which means a financial need. I'm going to check things out tomorrow. If you feel like donating, here's the button. All the money goes straight to this (even though it goes through my bank account).

Thank you.


  1. Sending love your way. I tried to send money, but it wouldn't let me. I'd like to come help, or do something similar somewhere. You're an inspiration. I also have tears for Jonathan. A stranger has him in her mind...he will not be forgotten.

  2. This is so sad, and at the same time, it is so wonderful that you are out there caring for the needs of (and especially loving!) these fragile little lives.

    One thing this also made me think of is how certain people (esp. Christians) tend to be outraged about abortion, and go on and on about how it is such a terrible thing. Don't get me wrong, I believe that it is terrible too... but at the same time, if people are going to make a big deal about unborn losing their lives, maybe they should also be putting their money where their mouth is, and be willing to adopt, or work in places like this... or at the very, very least, support them! Fighting for the health/rights/lives of the unborn is great, but isn't it just as important that we fight to maintain of the lives of the born? Wouldn't it be hypocritical to fight to keep unwanted babies alive, while other (also unwanted) babies are being born, but we let them die from neglect in squalid hospital cribs?

    That said, I don't want to make people feel outraged in either case, because I don't think that "outrage" is as helpful as people tend to believe. This is a tragedy, people. We should be sad.

    We should be sad... but then, we should DO something about it. (And by "it" I don't mean about the abortion issue so much as about the babies that are being born, and left to die).

    Thanks for paving the way Magi! I hope more people follow your good example, and that they do so (just as much) from love.


Your words make me grin.

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