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Hannah (Vidalia) Update

8 November 2004  Well, Hannah has come a long way since we rescued her from her little mountain shack two years ago.  She's as healthy as she can be, considered her "brittle bone" disease.  She is lively, and funny and a real joy. She now has two special wheelchairs, one that she uses indoors and one she can use outdoors.  She is really amazing at maneuvering them and loves the freedom of getting around. 

She has had a few changes in her life.  She now attends Christian Academy of Guatemala, an English speaking school in San Cristobal.  She is in Kindergarten and loving it.  She is near the top of her class and speaks perfect English.  Her favorite class, she says, is "recess" but she loves every class.  She is amazing at small motor skills and can color pictures wonderfully.  She is starting to read and loves stories.  The teachers have even modified physical education classes for her.  She recently dressed up for a Fall Harvest Party as a ballerina and was thrilled to show off her outfit.

She continues to learn at an amazing rate and is so quick-witted and funny.  Recently she saw a doctor who specializes in children with bone problems.  Unfortunately, his report was not very encouraging;  her bones are deteriorating further and he suggested getting to a special hospital in the States.  He feels there is not much we can do for her in Guatemala.

Hannah has also moved in with a foster family here in Guatemala so she can attend the school.  The foster mom, Tracy, stays at school with her all day, to help her and take her to the bathroom.  She seems very content with her Canadian foster parents, John and Tracy, and enjoys lots of attention because Tracy is with her all day.  She recently rode a horse for the first time and even bounced a bit in a children's inflatable  "bouncy castle".  She loves to go shopping and "playing house".

Our hope and dream is to get Hannah adopted to the States but there is a problem to overcome.  Her birth parents are legally married, and although they do not want her, USA law says children have to have unmarried parents to be adopted and move to the States.  Since this is such a special case, we hope to get an exception for her to be adopted.

A Home for Jose Meanwhile, Hannah's brother, 3-year old Jose, was doing poorly. He has also been diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, the same disease that Hannah has.  His mother also doesn't want him.  Jose was left locked in his dirt floor, tin & cornstalk windowless shack most days; Jose was losing weight that he can not afford to lose.  His mother seemed unable to cope with the situation and unresponsive to getting milk and vitamins that we offer to her for free.  His father called me recently to say they want to give him up and asked if we could find a home for him.

Jose now lives at a handicap children's home, run by missionary friends of ours. He is doing great, looking and acting healthy! Hannah comes to visit and play with him every once and a while.

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Hands Of Hope Ministries

Hands of Hope is a medical mission to the rural indigenous poor of Guatemala.

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