He was the third foster baby that we had this summer in Kenya. He only stayed in our house for a week, but he has stayed in my heart and in my mind every day since then. If you could know this baby, then he might stay with you for a while, too.
This baby boy was wrapped in a blanket at the door of a church somewhere near Tenwek. The police found him and brought him to the hospital. Because he was in good health, he came to our house the next day. He received immediate, constant, and enthusiastic affection from Anna and Abi. Lots of it.
He was beautiful! In my opinion (general consensus?), many Caucasian babies seem to require several months to grow into themselves before they become cute, but this baby boy, like most African babies, was unbelievably cute. The only thing that may have detracted from his cuteness was his scabies. I discovered his scabies when I began to feel strangely itchy myself. A small price to pay to be able to take care of such a sweet baby.
We began to pray for his birth mother, who is certainly facing bitter circumstances. And we began to pray for God to work in the hearts of a family (who must be residents of Kenya) who would adopt him.
He had no name.
This was a jarring thought to me. He was about four months old, and he was well-fed, indicating that he surely had a name and a mother who took good care of him. But suddenly he lost his identity, his family, his name.
I gave him the name Joseph. Joseph is a common name in Western Kenya, but I chose it for another reason. I chose the name Joseph as a reminder that God can use baby Joseph's life the way he used the life of Joseph in the first book of the Bible. The original Joseph was also abandoned by his family and faced severe trials as he grew to adulthood. In the end, however, Joseph testified that "God meant it for good" as God used Joseph's awful past in order to bring good for thousands of his people. Let's pray and believe that God will do the same in this Joseph's life.