All the babies that come to the orphanage we support have lost their mothers. Most have lost their mothers in childbirth from preventable causes, most die because of bleeding. Some are twin births and the mother doesn't receive help when she needs it. There are a lot of twins in the area of DRC where we lived. In the past five years there have been seven sets of twins brought to the orphanage after their mothers died giving birth to them (including our girls). Out of those seven sets, three of the sets have lost one of their siblings. I met two of the little ones left behind on the first day I came to the orphanage, Kenga lost her older twin sister, and Chito Wambili lost her older twin sibling before I visited.
I found out today that one of the little twin baby girls I told you about has died. I never saw her face, I don't know anything about her, other than she was the younger of the twin girls and she died one week ago. She was 3 1/2 weeks old. Her name was Chito Isenge. "Chito" means younger twin. Our manager is going up to the orphanage this week so I'll find out more about her illness, though it's likely she was small and malnourished when she came. Like these little ones that against all odds, lived.
I'm not sure what else to write at this moment. Death is expected. Death happens daily and too frequently in this area of the world.
Yet, I sit here thinking that I will never know her face. I will never be able to put a face to her name. That she should be alive, her mother should never have died and left to vulnerable little girls. That yes, she had a chance, but it wasn't enough and there is still a long way to go.
I struggle to make sense of her death, even if expected.