How are you, Miguelito? Are you clapping and dancing like the last time we saw you? Can you chatter away or sing a little tune? Are you eating well? Have you grown? Does your mama's heart fill with joy every time she casts a glance your way?
Oh, Miguelito...it would be so good to hold you and to give you a squeeze, and to remind you that you are a miracle.
You came to us before your first birthday. You were too small. You could not hold up your own head. Other little ones your age could sit and pull themselves up and babble. You were too weak. The cleft in your palate made it impossible for you to keep the milk from spilling out from your nose and face. The little trickles of nourishment which made it into your tummy had kept you alive -- just barely. Your mama prayed and willed you to live, and she brought you to us hoping for a miracle.
The doctors had said you were too little and too weak for surgery. Without the surgery you would not survive. Dr. Z stroked your little head and felt you all over. You needed special food. You needed a special feeder.
We traveled to pharmacies all over the city, and bought every ounce of preemie formula that we could find. We delivered the formula and bottles to your mom.
One of our nurses had cared for babies with your condition and knew just what kind of feeder you needed. She found the special feeder and extra nipples and special cups just for you. We shipped them all the way from the United States to your mama, and sent formula inside friends' suitcases whenever they traveled to El Salvador. We heard that little by little you were growing.
One year later, your mama brought you to see us again. You cried; you laughed; you sat on the floor; you walked; you danced; you clapped your hands. You lived.
The doctors had repaired your outer lip and you could eat and drink. The doctors planned to take a little piece of bone from your leg and fashion an upper palate for you. Your mouth would soon be just right.
Your mama has not brought you back to see us. This must mean that you are doing well and we rejoice in that hope!
Thank you for touching our lives, little Miguelito. You are a survivor. You are a miracle.