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.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dream and Memory

As the the dawn broke and my fretful sleep lightened, a spirit glided into my dreams and with it, a sense of dread. She was alone. Her expression completely void. She was not quite solid, and she was utterly unaware of me, or the buzzing travelers at the train station of my dream world. Why was her baby not with her? My chest was taught. An ache settled there. 'Dear God, you promise your plans are to prosper and not to harm...'

...And then I woke suddenly, with the whisper of that unfinished prayer, still on my lips.

Yesterday afternoon, Peterson returned home into the care of his Mother. She does not want him, but she wont give him up. Peterson was referred to the orphanage for medical assistance last spring. His Mother left in October, telling us that she knew her son would not survive at home, with her, and that she wanted to give him up for adoption. She never did sign the papers that would have provided the authority to seek an adoptive family for Peterson.

I counselled Peterson's Mother thoroughly before she left with her son. He needs daily medicines, that are provided free of charge by a government clinic, close to her home. She must take Peterson there on a monthly basis. If she does not, he will become very sick again. Then, he will die.

Peterson is returning to a volatile family situation. Everyone here knows that he is unlikely to receive his medicines at home, and there isn't a thing we can do about that. The truth is, that thousands upon thousands of Peterson's live and die in Haiti. There is no legal recourse, here, for abused or neglected children.

Here, we prepare children to join loving homes, either in Haiti or overseas. We are not accustomed to waving off the Peterson's of Haiti. No, not to that. They - the Peterson's, raise all kinds of questions about God and suffering.'For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.'(Job 4:18). There are no easy answers to these questions.

Yesterday, I smiled at Peterson and congratulated the fat, beautiful baby, telling him he was returning to his home stronger, far stronger than he had left it. I doubted he was strong enough: I couldn't let Peterson see that.

Sending him home is the only choice that was open to us. I know that we made the right choices, until there were no more choices left to make, and I suspect that just as last night's dream lingers with me, so will the memory of the last time I saw Peterson;

As I step away, he reaches for me. There is a high five, a wave, a kiss blown to him, another returned to me. He laughs his throaty laugh, his eyes round, and shining, his trust absolute and unquestioning.


anna k said...

Not easy stuff living in Haiti brings but Peterson was SO blessed to have you in his life. Praying for Peterson, his mom and you. Hang in there :)

Tim Franklin (Gedeleine's father) said...

Thank you Susan. Beautifully written. Very evocative. I really like the way you both show and tell in your writing. Your voice is being heard and making a difference.

Brittnei said...

I remeber when he came- keeping him in my prayers today. Thank you for all the love and encouragement you gave him. Praying for YOU- goodbyes are tough <3