In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Brought to My knees

At 4:53 on Tuesday afternoon, with the floor shifting beneath my feet, and the entire house shaking and rocking violently, glass shattering and equipment crashing from the NICU shelves, there was just enough time to lift the baby in the cot in front of me. It was Impossible to stay upright. I dropped to my knees.

Then, grabbing the only other baby within reach, I looked around in despair. There were another 8 infants in the room and I knew I couldn't save them. I shielded the two I had with me as best I could. The babies were crying, terrified care givers were screaming. Too afraid to compose an eloquent prayer to my God, I leaned upon the familiar words of a well known prayer.

'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name....'

I am still on my knees, we all are, and we are relying in God as utterly and completely as we did during the 40 seconds of that earthquake.

I have never had to wonder where I will eat next week, or if there will be water to drink Now, I pray daily for these things. And I am thankful, in a way I have never been before that we have them. We can't take any of it for granted anymore.

There is hopeful news: Our driver saw a water truck on the road today. Tomorrow he is going off in search of one of these trucks. Remember that there is no piped water in our area. All of our water must be transported along the mountain road. I really, really want to see one of those trucks at out gate!

Adeline, a nanny who works in the urgence B nursery, for children who aren't quite walking, came into work today. We hadn't seen her since before the disaster. That leaves two staff members still unaccounted for them. While we are anxious about their safety, it is amazing to me that not one of our Haitian workers have been seriously hurt or killed up to this point.

We managed to get 5 of our children out of Haiti today. The left on a chartered flight, bound for the Netherlands. All are in the process of being adopted by families in Holland. One did not have a visa or passport, but she was allowed to board the flight; the Dutch government today agreed to admit all Haitian children children into the Netherlands, who are in the process of being adopted by families in that country. Provisional plans are in place to evacuate 23 children next week. It is wonderful news for these children and while, I for one, rejoice for these children because it is a given that all of their needs will be provided for in Holland, it will be difficult to say good bye to so many children, all at once, and with very little warning. It does however mean that almost 30 beds will be freed-up for newly orphaned children.

It is slowly dawning on us, that our lives in Haiti, and the lives of everyone around us have changed forever.

'My boyfriend wont have work now! one nanny exclaimed. 'His work place has been destroyed!'

'It will be the same way for everyone in this country,' her friend replied. 'Haiti is finished! It has crumbled to dust!'

Haiti is a country in which so many people had nothing, and yet now, these people have lost everything. The Haitian staff tell me that schools, universities and workplaces have been obliterated. The government buildings have all been damaged or completely destroyed. None of the government ministers can be located. When all is said and done, there will be no return to normal in Haiti.

'The rich and the poor, the Black and the Mulatto (mixed race) are all sleeping side by side on the street,' said a staff member, who, has just returned from the city. 'We are all the same now. Our little houses have fallen, along with their expensive homes, and their businesses are destroyed..... we are all the same today.'

The entire country has been brought to its knees.


nicnacpaddywac said...

What wonderful news from the Dutch government - i hope others are able to follow suit. Thinking of you all as these little ones leave so suddenly. x said...

Hi Susan,

My name is Shan Allana and I'm a producer working on a "Tonight" half hour documentary on the children of Haiti. It's incredible the work you are doing there.

Please can you contact me asap on +44 7866 546 312 or

Catching Butterflies 3 said...

I am also on my knees here in Germany praying for you and for your needs.

Carla said...

Great news about the kids leaving for their families in Holland. I'm hoping the US government will follow suit. Still praying for you & the people of Haiti. I gave out your blog address to my Sunday School class this morning. You have a great story to tell (& to be told in the future!) & I hope others hear it as well. Keep the faith, sister. You're doing a mighty work.

Cookiemouse said...

Greetings from Amsterdam. Good news about the children being allowed into Holland
Twitter link to your post

You are in our prayers!

Catherine said...

Hoping that all the governments from abroad will allow the kids to come home !!!!
Susan, thank you sooo much again for your faith and your work.
Catherine, momy to Nad├Ęge, one of your beloved babies...