This is Chabina, she is 6 months old and weights 10 pounds. Her family lives a two hour walk up the moutains behind the village of Petit-Bwa. Petit Bwa is a 2 hour walk to La Digue. LaDigue is a 2 hour tap-tap ride to the clinic. So that makes 6 hours Chabina’s father traveled to get to the clinic.
Chabina’s mother died when she was only a few days old. Her father did not know what to do. He has 2 other children to take care of. What was he going to do with this little baby? He traveled to two other orphanages that take in children. They only would take the child if he gave her up for adoption. He thought about it each time, but could not make that difficult decision. You see, Chabina is his only daughter.
He had to begin working in the gardens to make money to live and feed the other kids. He took his only daughter to his own mother in hopes that she could take care of her. She has been there for a few months. When he would go to visit her, he would try to take the little money he had to give to his own mother to buy milk for her. With a container of milk costing $7 to $12 dollars it was hard to supply milk for her for even a few days. He had heard about the clinic and took two days off from working in his gardens to travel to Cazale. Two days. Yesterday he traveled here to the village and found a place to sleep. Today he got up early and stood in line to get a card. He passed this afternoon.
After Chabina was admitted he began his journey back up to his village. He will arrive well after dark tonight.
Chabina is 6 months and 10 pounds. She was admitted around 3pm. She has only had a banana for the whole day to eat or drink. She was very hungry when we first saw her. She is swollen in her face and feet she is in the beginning stages of Kwashiorkor. I have zero beds available zero. I called two ladies from the RC and asked them what they wanted to do. We thought about 2 seconds whether we would take her or not and all decided we would figure something out. We are each one person. We cannot do everything, but we CAN CHOOSE to do something. We choose to do it. It is amazing to me that these ladies have such compassion for all the children. They love them; they really know what it is like to have no one to turn to. I thank them, and I thank God for helping me to be able to help this child. We remembered that Story and Amos had a old playpen we put up in storage so we dug it out and made a place for her. By having the RC, we will be able to take Chabina and keep her here for about 1.5 years. By then she will be walking, off of infant formula and be eating solid foods. She will be able to return to her family and her papa; she will have a good chance of survival. Her family will always remember what God did for her. They will thank Him, they will praise Him. This is one story of 350 people that passed through our doors today.
There is something I want you to understand. This is my just my opinion. Haitians are good people, they love their kids. Over the past few days I have read many comments about the news story about child slavery. Did you follow it closely? Did you understand why the mother did what she did? If she lived in another country she might be able to leave her husband and find another place to stay, she might be able to go find a job and care for her daughter. It is not that easy here. Many women stay with a man because they provide the basic needs to live. Food. There are not jobs here to be found, she cannot pick up and move, even if she wanted to. She is in a difficult situation. Adoption is not the answer for her daughter. She has a mother that loves her, but is in a difficult situation. Child slavery cannot be fixed with easy solutions. It is a complex problem. If a mother gives/sells her child to another family, her hope is that she will get to eat everyday, her hope is that maybe she will get to go to school. Her hope is not that she get abused or mistreated. Child slavery is WRONG. But taking a child away from a mother that loves her is WRONG. Adoption is not going to save her. It would take her out of the current situation, yes. But having a “better” live is not always the right choice. Her mother loves her. Loves her. They desire (as all of us do) to have a life where they can live together and be happy. You all know I am not aganist adoption. I have an adopted child. But we have to be careful on our views of adoption and why we are doing it. Pray for the mothers that feel trapped to stay where they are at. Pray for Chabina. Pray for the children and families here that have to make difficult decision each day just to live.