FINGERPRINT – PART TWO
Dr. Luke scribbled out a note between surgeries on February 21, 1992. He stapled it closed, sealed it in a Bach Christian Hospital envelope, and gave it to his colleague, Naz. After a journey on rugged roads, Naz would deliver the envelope with its explosive joyful contents twelve hours later.
As Naz began his journey, 15-year-old Razwana was on her own journey. She crept home from Bach hospital through a crowded bazaar with her aunty, Surat Jan. She clutched a woolen shawl around her to cover her pain and shame. A full-term baby had just been pulled out of her by forceps. A baby unwillingly conceived through rape.
Blood from the placental site in her womb was soaking through the cotton wool pad under her baggy pants. Strips of cloth bound around her to conceal her swollen breasts restricted her breathing. Thirsty and dazed from blood loss, she stumbled and grabbed for her aunt’s arm.
The plan concocted by Razwana’s mother and aunt to survive the dishonor of the pregnancy was a masterpiece of deceit. They would blame the girl’s ill health and hospital stay on high blood pressure and a urinary tract infection. Her mother would conceal bloody pads in plastic bags and carry them to Surat Jan’s for burning. Despite her wretched condition, Razwana would do her house chores so that things appeared normal.
The long game involved snaring a husband inexperienced in sex for Razwana, one who would be oblivious to her lack of virginity. Her Muslim groom would not see her before the wedding, so Razwana’s depression and neurotic behavior would be unknown to him. Her terror at the prospect of sex was irrelevant. A son, a second one, would solve all their problems.
Three hundred twenty-five miles away from the drama in Razwana’s home on the Karakoram Highway, my husband and I were teaching the Bible to Pakistanis in the Thal Desert region.
After five years of marriage and a long season of infertility, Don and I had opened our hearts to the possibility of adoption. We had added our names to lists at a couple of Christian Hospitals in Pakistan, lists of those wanting to adopt babies.
When our screen door slammed shut on the chilly evening of February 22, 1992, we were about to learn how good and generous God is.
Don walked into the front room, locked eyes with me, and pressed a small envelope into my hand. It was unopened. “This just came with Naz from Bach.”
Standing together in our living room, we opened the envelope and eased the staple off the letter. Hunched over the small note written by Dr. Luke one day earlier in anticipation of a birth, we read, “Baby due sometime in the next few days…they say they will not keep it…available to you…Can you care for it? “
In our joy, a verse came to mind: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result,to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 NASB)
To be continued…
Picture: the new born boy