Suubi or Joan, as most of you know her, first came into the Tender Hearts Baby Home on August 5, 2012. The baby's home directors named her Joan Suubi. Suubi in Lugandan means hope. We were told that Suubi had been abandoned by her mother to her father. Her father then abandoned her to his brother. Suubi's uncle then contacted the local authorities and Suubi was placed at Tender Hearts Baby Home. Later through investigation, we learned that Suubi was born healthy but was later physically abused by her step-mother in Uganda. We also learned Suubi's real birth date which meant she was almost 3 years old when she entered the baby home.
Upon entering Tender Hearts, Suubi was malnourished and very developmentally delayed. She was believed to be about 2 years old at the time (actually almost 3 years old). Her delays included not being able to crawl, stand, walk, or turn herself over. She could not sit up on her own and her limbs were completely stiff. Joan moved her right hand a little, but her left hand was stiff and at her side at all times. Joan's medical tests revealed that she was also blind.
Thanks to the donations from Vivian's Hope, Suubi was able to begin physical therapy right away. Though it was painful for her at times, she was a trooper. Immediately we began seeing improvements. Suubi began to move her limbs more easily and also began sitting up better on her own.
In the photo above you can see that Suubi is using both her left and right hand to play with toys and pushing herself forward in her chair, reaching for these items.
On March 7, 2013, Suubi was matched with a waiting adoptive family! She was placed with them on June 26, 2013 and arrived home in the U.S. on 8/3/13 almost exactly one year after being placed at Tender Hearts. Suubi's family has an amazing story to tell about how they were led by God to adopt her as well, but I will let them share their story in their own words. Be on the lookout for their testimony soon.
"God sets the lonely in families..." Ps. 68:6a
Suubi's story is of one of grace and mercy and certainly one of hope. Thank you to all of you for your continued support of Tender Hearts through prayer, mission teams, and giving.
Although Suubi's story is particularly powerful, hers is only one of many lives changed through the work Ken and Cathy are doing. Please consider giving toward the monthly budget of Tender Hearts Baby Home and please talk to your church about monthly support as well. We need your help to change more lives!
To learn more about the Tender Hearts Baby Home in Uganda, please visit the Nightlight website.