Chabina…..

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. 

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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.

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11 Responses to Chabina…..

  1. Heather P says:

    Well said! I found the mother in that piece to be quite brave. I have two adopted children and I can tell you that they suffer immensely for not having their birth families in their lives. Adoption is a blessing, but always comes because of pain, and will forever be shadowed by pain. I am thankful for my kids, but I wish they didn’t have to deal with all that baggage – you know? They are brave and strong little people!

  2. Kayla says:

    As an adoptive mom, I often remind myself that adoption is not about ending global poverty. Sure it may change the life of my child but it does nothing for the lives of many others. And for families to feel like they have only two choices: death or adoption? That seems awful but unfortunately true as they are not enough resources in Haiti to help these families. I wish I knew more about UNICEF and what they are really doing in Haiti. They are often blamed for slow downs in adoptions which I can’t substantiate. But people say UNICEF puts pressure on government officials because they want children to be raised in Haiti. Essentially, they are saying a life in a better off country is not necessarily a better life or an appropriate response. But this opinion cannot exist in a vacuum. Like you were saying, families need resources like education, access to shelters, better medical care, and a social service system that actively advocates for what is best for children. And unfortunately, these type of resources are so few and far between.

  3. J-HY says:

    Great words today….thank you for sharing. And thank you for doing something for Chabina….she is so precious. We will be praying for her father, he sounds like a great man.

  4. Rachel says:

    You guys, EVERYTHING you do, are such inspiration. Your words are completely true and so well said. And they are said with a firm knowledge of the reality, which is so unlike many of the folks who commented on that article. I am so glad that you continue to educate people about Haiti. You do a great job of educating us with the reality, the heartbreak, and the absolute beauty of Haiti and the people there. I read your blog to remember. And to cry for the children who are lost. They deserve that. Every child you post about can be prayed for, cried over, and remembered. They can still leave a legacy, even though they are far away and so very young.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing what you do. I pray for you guys regularly. For strength, perserverance, discernment, comfort, boldness, and even that you get some rest.

    Keep on and God Bless!

  5. Rob says:

    Thank you for your very true words. We too have adopted a Hatian little girl, but I know her mother did a very selfless thing by giving her up so she could have a good life. I cannot imagine what she had to go through to make those choices. Thanks for keeping us on track Licia. You are doing a wonderful thing for the kids of Haiti! God Bless!

  6. d says:

    Perfectly said. Adoption is just a band-aid. You said it perfectly. Thank-you for being willing to say that.
    d

  7. Tressa says:

    Will be praying for all of you. Im so blessed to hear of all that you do. This girl is precious, God has BIG plans for her!! Thank you for being His hands and feet!

  8. Tamara says:

    Thank you…that was good to read…VERY GOOD!

  9. jordan says:

    thank you! a few minutes ago i saw the video that dateline did and just now read your posting…your perspective is refreshing…and heart breaking. as a father of three, i can’t imagine what it would be like to have to face a situation like that. i will pray for the mothers in Haiti and a glimpse of hope for them.

    thanks for your words

  10. graham says:

    Seriously Licia, you write better than Paul Farmer, and he has published books. You need to get something published, anything. The blog is great, but these stories are greater. Who else will accurately tell the story of the poor? Scarlett and I will help edit. Either way, if I ever write anything worth publishing you and Lori will have to write the preface.

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