The official good news on Friday was the Haitian Prime Minister’s approval of travel for children in the adoption process, Hundreds of children are now or soon will be living in a permanent and safe family. Having been just one of the many advocates for the approval, a moment was taken to celebrate and applaud the Prime Minister’s decision.
Today, much like the past few days, was filled with a wide range of emotions from self-doubt and frustrations to triumph and determination. We visited five orphanages and two hospitals. And perhaps most importantly collected a treasure of information which tripled the number of orphanages in the our database. That information has now been provided to relief organizations so they can get the kids the water and food they desperately need.
But today was also unique. Today from morning till night, we touched and smelled, heard and felt children living in orphanages, Children living without proper nutrition, without enough water. Children living without the safety of parents, of family.
We talked to young children who shared just a fraction of their life story. A young boy named Jean, who had been a Restavek. Rene shared his goal of being a carpenter and Renaud told of his dream to be a professional soccer player.
We learned of Marina, an older girl who had also been a Restavek, punished by kneeling on a grating board and beaten with electrical wire. She left yesterday on humanitarian parole and will soon be with her adoptive parents. We met, Joseph, who is unable to walk because of cerebral palsy. He too will soon join his adoptive parents.
Today we witnessed the reason for what we do and remembered why we came.