|Looking at an Album from Home|
Finally – time to visit AUBE! It always seems like I have a huge span of time stretching out before me when I arrive, but then my visit flies by before I can even begin to accomplish everything I wanted to do.
Sonia picks me up with all five members of the ABI family who is here for their socialization visit, and we all pile in, squeezed tight! It’s fortunate that both the mother of the family and I are petite or we might be in trouble.
AUBE is the same as ever. Noisy, happy, busy. I say hello to
|The Boys' Club of AUBE|
The visiting girls play with the girls of AUBE. It’s amazing how many games they can make up with no shared language. There are some real friendships developing here. The biological children of the adoptive family will be forever changed by their experience here. I think that’s a good thing. They’ll understand more about where their brother came from, and perhaps have bigger hearts and more open minds than they could have developed if they had never seen for themselves that there are children living without family. The three of them are certainly brightening the lives of the waiting children today.
|New Baby Girl|
Eventually, Sonia gives us all another crowded ride home. The son of the visiting family who must stay behind in the orphanage, separated from his future family by a spider web of red tape, watches after us wistfully. It’s hard today. It’s going to get worse every day that the family must visit and then leave him again. The socialization period has a major downside for everyone involved. Adoptive parents are going to have to be very strong to leave their children behind for months while we complete the legal processing on their cases. It’s awful. I know. I’ve been there too.
With the last few hours of time in Haiti, I hitch a ride over to Hope House. Haiti Foundation Against Poverty is the parent organization of Hope House. It is run by Frentz and Mallery Neptune. Mallery is an American who came to work and eventually married Frentz. They’ve just returned to Haiti with their new baby. HFAP runs a license crèche, but their main focus is on family preservation. They run a great many medical and dental clinics to benefit the community, and even provide family planning assistance. This is a model Haitian aid organization, which distributes the fund entrusted to them directly to the people of Haiti, led by Haitians.
|Inside Hope House|
Their new building for the children is light, airy, and beautiful! They have several children in care who were removed from an American-run orphanage. It is very upsetting to see a twelve pound two year old who was in care there since infancy. There is no excuse… She is recovering now, but who knows if she will ever reach her full potential? Mallery and I are beyond furious, and hoping that someday justice will be done. We are ashamed that one of our countrymen could come here and abuse and neglect Haitian children on ‘our’ dime. Americans supported this travesty.