More from Nancy’s life in Pakistan
Fingerprint – Part Three
On February 24, 1992, we stood before the house of veteran workers Dave and Synnove Mitchell. Much to our relief they were home and they helped us through the new crisis in our lives.
Two days earlier, in Layyah, we had gotten a phone call telling us that a “Baby boy born at 4:45 pm.” Still clutching Dr. Luke’s note telling us this was the baby for us, I leaned into the receiver and asserted myself as a mother, “His name is Christopher.”
The following day, after a nine-hour drive to Islamabad, Don and I trudged into the “Mother Care” baby store. Snapping up an array of baby items, we shuffled back to the jeep with our bags.
We left the parched capital the next day and climbed three hours on spiraling roads amidst terraced hillsides. Closer and closer to our baby. I studied the faces of the locals we passed on the roadside, wondering if Christopher would look like them.
When the nurse placed Christopher into Don’s arms at Bach Christian Hospital, like newlyweds, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Unlike newlyweds, however, there would be no honeymoon.
Cloistered in the Cutherells’ bathroom that evening, no one was happy. Not the howling baby. Not me, all thumbs. Urine-soaked bandages from Christopher’s recent circumcision had to be changed, and well, we were his parents. Don, white and faint from the sight of blood, was also not happy. The night passed, listening to baby sounds.
We began the 327-mile trek back to our desert home the following day. Blankets wound around Christopher’s tiny body like bumpers in the used car seat. His head bobbed along in time to the bumpy, curvy roads. My body swirled backward and forward as if on a swivel, checking on our son.
Just seventy-five miles into the trip, Christopher was the only one who had it together. Our minds worked overtime. Were we keeping the circumcision wound clean enough? Would Christopher’s staph infection respond to the medicine? Were we mixing his milk formula correctly? Was he wet? Was he cold? Who did we think we were?
Finally, when it was evident that our drinking water would never last the journey, the last of our brave efforts at parenting deflated like a balloon. In 1992, in Pakistan, you could not buy bottled drinking water. You sterilized your own or went without.
Like disheveled refugees, we huddled on the Mitchells’ doorstep and rang the doorbell. Dave and Synnove welcomed our bedraggled family and delivered us. From ourselves.
When we loaded our 4 ½ day-old baby back into the jeep the next day to resume our journey, we were standing on the shoulders of ordinary people who did brave things. Fragile people in the hands of God. Fragile, like a fingerprint.
Today Christopher himself is happily married and functioning very well.
“but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world
to shame the things which are strong,”
1 Corinthians 1:27 nasb
Picture: a road like the one Nancy and Don drove up to get their new son, Christopher.