Saturday, July 16, 2016

Special Visitors at BRESMA


It’s Saturday, but it’s still a workday for me.  Delia gets up quietly in the dark to make her flight, but I have so much to do I get up soon afterwards to get started.
I begin with two client meetings.  ABI works with families who live in Haiti and want to adopt a relative or a child placed with them by IBESR.  It’s hard work, but necessary and interesting.  Susan sits in with me on the first meeting, with the family’s permission, while I go over their various options for adoption of the child they have raised since infancy.  Susan has a strong interest in immigration law and the interesting complexities of relative adoptions.  I have an interest in these families who sacrifice so much to live in Haiti and serve in whatever way they can.  They tend to be flexible, strong, and fascinating.  I truly admire the full time Haiti warriors.  This is not an easy country to live in as an ex-pat.
Next, Margarette and I finally get to go through our large mutual case load.  She’s got quite a bit of progress to report.  Things will always be extremely difficult in Haiti, but at least now it seems like we’re getting somewhere.  The past two years, it’s often felt like we are banging our heads against a wall of bureaucracy in an effort to knock it down.  Now, our foreheads (and feet) are still sore, but at least the wall is a bit more flexible.
They're Back!!  BRESMA Alumni.
After my meetings, it’s time to do something a long time coming.  This is a photo of six grown BRESMA alumni, ages 18-24.  Each and every one of them is either in college or working or both.  Every one of them is here to visit their biological families.  Every one of them is a happy, independent young adult. They are strong, confident, outspoken with their opinions. Their lives renew my faith in my work.  Each of them lost a great deal when they left behind their culture, language, ethnicity, and country.  But it would appear that each has gained as well as lost.  There are many things a family can give that even the best orphanage can never match.
The current BRESMA kids are fascinated to meet my own adopted children.  It’s a glimpse at their own future, and it spurs a fast and urgent round of, “do I have a Maman Blan?”  “When are my parents coming to visit?”  “When can I go on the plane?”  Adoptive families try to convey to me the urgency of their cases, but truly I know how important it is that kids go home as quickly as possible.  I am answerable to each and every one of these children to perform to my utmost and bring them all home.  Maybe someday they’ll come back to visit and stand in front of BRESMA too, grown and strong examples for those who still wait for families.

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