Dear friends of One Body One Hope,
Exactly a year ago today, a team of six individuals from the United States was celebrating a late Christmas in Liberia. Packages from sponsor families had just been passed out to the kids at Christ Our Hope, and the mood was festive and light. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and we were relishing the simple joy of being together. Only one thing tarnished the mood: one of the girls at Christ Our Hope was very, very sick. We were in Liberia to be with our friends, but we were also there to find a way to bring Eve home.
Maybe you remember Eve’s story and the unfolding drama of her lingering illness due to caustic ingestion in 2010. Maybe you cried with us when her medical visa was denied, or prayed fervently as we asked God to open another door. Whether you have been thinking about and praying for Eve or not, we are sorry if we have left you wondering what happened in the months after our failed attempt to bring Eve to the US on a medical visa. The truth was, God showed us a way that we could have never anticipated, and as that path required wisdom, diligence, and a level of confidentiality, we had to stop sharing Eve’s story. But that is no longer the case.
On June 27, little Eve Zeambo officially became Eve Baart. And though we weren’t able to travel to bring her home until late November, Eve has been the daughter of our hearts since the day we said “yes” less than a year ago.
Eve has been home with us now for six weeks and she is exceeding our every hope and expectation. She is happy and tenacious and sweet. She loves to cuddle and kiss and tell us how much she loves us--and hear how very much we love her, too. Eve is also passionate, brave, and strong, and we believe it is those characteristics that helped her to overcome so many obstacles.
There are more obstacles yet to face. Eve still suffers from caustic ingestion syndrome, but her medical needs are now being met at a top-notch hospital. Her team of doctors, nurses, and surgeons is dedicated to her health and wellbeing, and we have already experienced the depth of their care and compassion for our little girl. In the beginning of February, Eve will undergo the first of several medical procedures and surgeries that will hopefully restore her damaged esophagus and stomach.
Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and even gifts as we struggled this past year to bring Eve home. We could never have imagined a year ago today that Eve would now be nestled in our arms or rough-housing with her brothers or pirouetting around our kitchen in her pretty skirts. We are so overwhelmed with love for this girl, and gratitude to you for the role that you played in bringing her home. From the bottom of our hearts and forever: thank you.
The Baart Family
PS - Before we traveled to Liberia to bring Eve home, we designed a book titled "Eve's Story." It outlines her life from birth to the day that she joined our family. But, of course, the last page of the book doesn't say, "The end." Instead, we've written, "The beginning." We believe that it is.
One of the first photos we have of Eve. This was taken in 2010, a couple of months before she swallowed battery acid.
Here is Eve on the beach in January of 2013. That knowing smile on her face is because she believed (we all did) that she would be coming to the US with the team of people from OBOH. As you know, the medical visa failed.
Eve with her daddy only days before we left for home.
Eve and her mommy in the US, pointing back to where it all began.