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.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Prayer On My Lips

This week, with relief and joy, we witnessed Sonia, Maudlin and Bobo make full recoveries.

Geraldine gained 3 lb in 10 days. We had hoped that the staff at her orphanage would allow us to keep her until January, so that we could ensure that she made a complete recovery from her malnutrition. It was humbling to hear their decission: they preferred to take her home. Geraldine has returned to an instituation that doen't even have the basics. Their water supply is comtaminated and they lack sufficient supplies of food and baby formula. They have no medecines and there is 1 staff member for every 14 children.

At GLA, we have no right or authority under Haitian law to challenge the decision to discharge Geraldine against our advice. We taught Geraldine's care-giver how to make a high calorie milk formula for her, and we provided some vitamins to keep her healthy. We urged the orphanage to bring her back if she becomes sick again, or loses weight. We offered to provide emergency medical care to their other children. We hope that they will come to us for assistance in the future. I also spoke with a US-based missionary organisation about the possibility of installing a water filtration system at Geraldine's orphanage - this would cut their mortality rate significantly.

I know that that we are incredibly fortunate at GLA. I think back to the care that Geraldine received in her time with us. I can honestly say that it parallelled the care she would have received in a hospital in Europe or North America. Never before have I sent a child out of our gates to such a bleak future; the reality for most Haitian orphans is miserable poverty, hunger, malnutrition, sickness and abuse. I know that in all likelihood, this reality has and will be Geraldine's.

Knowing this, I waved Geraldine off with a smile on my face, pain in my heart, doubt in my mind, a prayer on my lips.


Brittnei said...

praying susan, so very much. you have such a big heart. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan, I can't imagine how difficult that would be, although, one of our babies we adopted from philly in the us had babies in that same nicu that had bleak futures. Known mothers with no parenting skills let alone the ability to provide the care that baby would need on discharge. I heard the sadness in the staff's voices there concerning some children in the good old USA. I pray that Geraldine felt loved and cared for in a way that stays with her forever. I can see hope in her eyes. God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

could that be any more heartbreaking? think of how much stronger she would be if she could have stayed longer. oh that poor baby.i'm so sorry...i'll be praying for her.

stephanie garcia said...

My heart breaks.

Colleen said...

In HIS hands we tender their care....thanking Him for the gifts He has given you, for without, the outcome for so many babies would be so different. Rest in His hands and take a cuppa and smile, you deserve a hug and I am sending it and prayers for each of these little people to you, C

Jennifer said...

Wow, that must have been so hard. Praying for those three little ones plus all the little children in Haiti. What you do is amazing.

Ninabi said...

Oh Susan, I am always to happy to hear when your loving hands and heart make children well again but how heartbreaking when children leave GLA for such sad conditions.

Praying for you and for all the little people in your care and also for those who have left it, as well.