After a great family and friends Christmas in NZ, we returned to Cambodia 10 days ago. We returned to the best news of all. Little Sreynut has a life.
Sreynut first came to us about 8 months ago. The little button needed a hair lip and cleft pallet operation but first her nutrition level had to be built up. So, we took her in, fed her up and our staff loved her to bits. The hair lip op was completed and she returned home, awaiting the cleft pallet op.
Sreynut when she first came to us. Cambodian culture is less than graciously supportive of physical deformities, so this wee mite needed a face-lift.
Home has been tragic for this tiny 2-year-old. Dad and mum drink heavily. Dad recently drowned - we suspect, drunk in a paddy field. A neighbour whose wife is very ill strolled across the road and has taken up with Sreynut's mum. Mum has a new dodgy love and Sreynut and her older brother and older sister are now palmed off on poor grandma. But, mum has steadily refused to allow little Sreynut to be taken to foster care.
Sreynut returned to us over two months ago, before and then after the cleft pallet op. Before we left for Christmas in NZ we said to Libby, the great Aussie lady who has brought Sreynut to us 'please, ask one more time and we will really pray'. Sue is in contact with an American lady who facilitates foster care into Cambodian families. So Libby sent a staff member to ask again - and mum said 'ok - for $300' Ahh, no - that would be off the options list! Then something turned and mum happily went to the local official to sign foster care papers. Amazing!
Our staff tell us that a Cambodian Christian couple who have been unable to have children now have Sreynut - and they really, really love her.
With Sue (top) - Sreynut would run to us every morning. She gave us so many laughs as she would mimick everything that we would do. And was she ever hungry (above) - she caught up on two years of little food in her time at the Healing Home!