Sunday, June 15, 2014

Heroes

It’s a slow day for me, but a really busy one for Danielle.  ABI dossier preparer and social worker Danielle Ward has accompanied me on this trip to write home studies for four American families who live and work in Haiti.  It’s Danielle’s first time out of the US, and what a country to choose for her first adventure!  But she’s a trooper and is putting up with the heat and worries about Chikungunya without complaint.

 Danielle is teaching a class to our eight prospective adoptive parents at the BRESMA guest house.  It’s her duty to educate the families about the risks and rewards of adoption.  I imagine they’ll learn from her, but probably not as much as I have learned from them in just a short time.

 
malnourished infant
These people are the real deal; the full time servants, workers, warriors for change and hope in Haiti.  I flit back and forth and lobby government employees.  It’s almost a glamorous life – or at least, I hear that it looks that way from the outside. 

 There’s no glamour for these folks.  No applause or awards.  No notoriety or fame in the small pond that is Haiti or back home in the States.  They are here on the ground, day after day, year after year, grinding away their lives in tireless, selfless service to others.  Their work is rarely recognized, never mind praised.  They don’t do ‘big’ things.  No policy changes or diplomacy.  No shaking the hands of famous people.

They battle malnutrition, armed robbers, and parasites as they work at an orphanage, gather dust on their clothes as they hike through the mountains searching for the last biological relatives of an abandoned child trying to reunify the family, try not to cover their ears as they listen to true horror stories of sexually abused child slaves.  Tiny battles every day, struggling to make a difference for the least of these.

It takes some courage to face government officials and argue for children’s rights.  It takes a whole lot more courage to leave your friends and your family, live as a stranger in a strange land, and fight the same fight over again every single day without relief.

Let us honor those who sacrifice so much to work beside Haitians in building a better Haiti and a better world.  There are still heroes among us.

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