I will not do justice in this post in sharing the special story of Loubens or expressing our gratitude to those who cared for him and those who prayed for him! I invite others who are far better at expressing their feelings through words to share with us their experiences and thoughts. However, I will attempt to share with much humility my knowledge and experience regarding Loubens.
In May of 2015, Ken and Maria got a call from Social Services asking CH to take in a very sick little baby who had been abandoned at the local hospital in Jacmel. His presumed parents had left fake names and contact info. Maria visited him in the hospital and immediately realized he was in very bad condition. For a few days, Maria and some of the nannies took care of Loubens at the hospital and then Loubensky Cherry (Loubens) made the transition to CH.
At his arrival at CH, 21 months old Loubens was severely malnourished, couldn’t hold his head up, his hair was orange and falling out, he couldn’t sit up, had no teeth and couldn’t take any solids. It was going to take around the clock care if he were to recover. We also thought he may have CP due to the way his limbs were drawn up to his body.
First day at CH
Maria holding him
God had been orchestrating Louben’s around the clock care at least since Oct. of 2104 when Andy and I met with Jon and Karen Mouer from AZ. They approached us about spending three months at CH. They were there when Loubens arrived and with Karen’s nursing background, she sensed God’s call to be the primary care giver for Loubens. She and Maria came up with a plan that called for giving a small amount of formula to Loubens every two hours plus a lot of holding and loving on him. As a result, Loubens began to make remarkable progress.
Holding his head up
Finally eating some solid foods!
Finally after weeks of care, Loubens was doing so well, he was able to move into the Baby House where his precious nannies would take over his care. His orange hair had mostly been replaced by healthy hair and his smile was contagious. He was considered our miracle baby! We praised God that he brought the Mouers at just the right time!
Loubens receiving a visit from Karen Mouer outside the Baby House!
The Mouers left in early July but they were leaving behind a part of them in Haiti through Loubens.
Mouer family with Loubens.
Baby Loubens continued to grow and develop. This summer he learned to crawl and was pulling up on pieces of furniture. He was beginning to exchange that baby look for the toddler that he was.
Summer – July
He was on the move, bright eyed and ready to discover the world!
Loubens turned two on August 16th! We rejoiced over the fact that he was celebrating his 2nd birthday in good health and with a bright future ahead. However, in mid October, another baby, Nadine, became very, very ill and was hospitalized. We didn’t think she was going to make it. As she was showing signs of improvement, Loubens was admitted to the hospital as well. He was having seizures and a high fever. However, he improved and was released from the hospital. Baby Nadine came home as well.
A few days later, Loubens had a turn for the worse. Junior took Maria, Allison and Ann Amster along with Majolene (Loubens’ nanny) to PAP to see a private physian in a clinic. This happened through a connection from our church for which we are most greatful. The doctor did a CT scan and the report was translated from French to English and we had a neurologist in Montgomery look at it. The best we can determine is that Loubens had Tb related meningitis which caused fluid to build up around the brain which in turn caused strokes, paralysis and blindness. He was to the point of no longer being able to swallow and even got to the point where he could not tolerate an IV. Maria, Allison and the nannies continued to love on him, sing to him, rub his little body and pray over him. But this little fella just kept hanging in there to the point where we thought God planned to heal him and He did (just not in the way we imagined). Jesus welcomed Loubens into His arms on Sunday, Nov. 1. I can just see Loubens smiling and Jesus saying welcome to paradise Loubens; I love you and died for you!
There were so many people who loved Loubens and prayed for him – all over the US and in Haiti. We are so grateful for your prayers and every email and FB and Instagram response letting us know you were praying. Thank you for praying for a little boy that you many of you had never met but because we serve the Risen Savior, you knew the importance of prayer for him and his caregivers.
We are so grateful for Maria who along with Allison, Ann and Majolene sacrificed sleep, time with their families, and emotional and physical energy to love him so well during these past weeks. What a blessing it was to see the love and care lavished on this precious child and to be reminded that every child is a creation made in the image of Christ and worth fighting for! Thank you all so much!
About Tanya Birchfield
Tanya and her husband Andy are the founders/directors of Children's Hope. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama and has experience working with children and families of children who have been victims of abuse and neglect. The adoption of their daughter, Hope, from Moldova resulted in a passion and a burden for reaching out to orphans locally as well as internationally. Andy and Tanya are both active members of First Baptist Church, Montgomery.