Friday, August 14, 2009

Clean the Corners

Haven't been posting much... it's been a busy couple of months. I haven't even really had to time to check in on my friends and family's blogs.

On some levels, this last trip was a tough one. It was hard to go and come back alone AGAIN. It was hard to see how sick our friends' little girl is. It was hard to see how crazy things are. It was hard to still have no end in sight.

I've heard that there's a saying in Haiti for when something completely bizarre or backwards happens. The locals just shrug their shoulders and say, basically, "That's just Haiti". They just accept whatever it is that happens.

That doesn't sit well with me. In my world, when something's wrong you fix it.

I posted earlier this week about the opportunity to make your voice heard with your elected officials regarding the unacceptable process for international adoptions in Haiti. I hope you'll take a few minutes and do that - even if you don't do it on the 3 days they've listed. It's still not too late to say something about it.

We can all imagine the emotional toll that an orphanage takes on a child. Let me share with you one tiny little infuriating, saddening, maddening thing about living in an orphanage.

To picture our orphanage, imagine a rambler style house.... maybe 1200 sq ft. 3 bedrooms, but only two are used as that. The 3rd one is storage. Now put 68 children in that house. Add aunties to watch the children. You get the idea.

When we got there this last trip, Nathan was filthy dirty. And he didn't feel well. This picture was taken in the first minutes that we got him. Our luggage wasn't at the hotel yet, but I had some treats in our hotel room. I didn't have anything to clean him up with or to put a clean diaper on him, etc, but I could feed him. You can see in his eyes how awesome he feels right about now. The fact that a strange white woman has just taken him only adds to that feeling, I'm sure.

My dear friend Pam should stop reading now. :-)

If you look at his nails in that last picture, you can see the dirt that's crammed under them. One of the other moms joked that it looked like he had a French manicure, but with black tips. They were long, they were filthy. It honestly looked like no one had cut his nails or helped him wash his hands since we were there in January.

When our luggage arrived, our first job was to get them cleaned up and in fresh clothes. I started cleaning Nathan's nails and the stench of the filth under his nails honestly made me gag. It was completely disgusting.

He was so patient while I dug the dirt out and trimmed his nails. Brent took a picture because the whole thing was so gross. Poor little Nate - he'd flinch if I got too deep while digging out dirt, but he didn't make a peep to complain about it.
This is his face, looking at Papa taking pictures of him while Momma digs the crud out from under his nails. My sweet little boy...
I remember someone saying that their mom taught them that when you clean the floor, you make sure you get the corners more than anything else. The theory is if you take care of the part that people probably won't notice, then the rest of it will definitely be clean.

I can't begin to list all the little things that are broken with being raised in an orphanage. And right now, it seems like no one is noticing. The corners are filthy and no one cares, so to speak.

You can say something. Help us let them know that things need to change.

These kids deserve better.


My25Cents said...

You're killing me Lori. This was more than I could take today. I just finished making my calls. I don't have the guts to go through this process like you two. We're still praying -- there are still miracles to be had. Love you.

Lisa said...

I'm feeling for you Lori and your little Nate! I know ALL too well what your going through! Although I believe for the most part our orphanage does the best they can for the kids, it's an orphanage in a third world country however; and the care they get there is not what any parent would want for their child! As this process continues to CREEP along, our kids continue to go without their families! Why holding kids in orphanages for so long is acceptable to anyone is something I can't figure out! It's an injustice, and I wish everyone in our country could go to Haiti and witness it first hand. Of course the children living in the O have it WAY better than those that aren't. Anyway you look at it, Haiti deserves more, and the U.S. needs to step up now to right a wrong! UNICEF should be ashamed of themselves for saying that they hold children's best interests at heart, if they did they would be helping rather than hindering the process. Providing IBESR officials with SUV's doesn't get kids home, but assisting in streamlining paperwork could!

geralyn said...

How I wish I had the elusive magic wand and could magically and miraculously get these kids home with a quick swoosh. The saddness of the kids lingering in O's is heartbreaking and infuriating. I know how hard it is to leave your kids behind in Haiti and ache for them every moment of the day. Just knowing that you can't be with them to protect them and be with them when they are ill is gut-wrenching. I remain optimistic that someday soon, a miracle will happen regarding Haitian adoptions. It will take an entire village and maybe several countries to bring about the needed changes, but it can be done, and those children are worth it. Remain strong and know that although the contact is not often, you and your kids remain in my thoughts daily. Just think of us as your extended Haitian-Amercian family in North Dakota.

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