Since the evacuation of the children in adoption process after the earthquake Kay B has never been full. We joke about “empty nest syndrome” and for months anticipated an large influx of kids. Eventually we realized that maybe a smaller children’s home was God’s new plan, and we prayed for contented hearts with the quieter emptier play yard, and moved beds out of bedrooms refurnishing them as school and activity rooms. When giving volunteers and visitors a tour of the house I always use the terms “pre-quake” and “post-quake”. Because just nothing is the same. As with many things about Haiti, the GLA Toddler House has never felt the same being so empty.
As of two weeks ago we were overstaffed at Toddler House. Two new kids had come in in the last 6 months, and 6 had gone home! We were shrinking. We were the home to 19 children as opposed to 70 pre-quake. We let two employees go, and within days two others had immediate health issues to deal with and took medical leave from work. Three kids moved up from the Main House and three new little ones came in from the outside world. With 6 new kids to incorporate and reassure and running short on staff we’ve had a busy two weeks but God’s grace has been truly evident in the amount of energy, patience, compassion, and strength the nannies, cooks, and teachers have had trying to fill in all the holes and provide for all the kids physical and emotional needs.
THEN, on Friday Miss Magaly called Joyce and I to meet her and Dixie at the Main House in twenty minutes for what she called a “surprise”. The surprise… news that 15 children needing to be moved from an overcrowded orphanage in Kenscoff. FIFFFFFTTTTTEENNNNNN, numbers are never accurate, maybe it will be fifteen, maybe it will be 10, maybe it will be 6, maybe it will be 20. But whatever it is we consider it a great honor and privilege to be allowed to welcome each of these individual little lives into our home and provide for them in these vital developing years a feeling of love, reassurance, safety, continuing education, and begin to prepare them for a new journey to adoptive families.
We went yesterday to the orphanage to meet the kids so that when the move takes place we will not just be strangers. When I was there I inquired about the children’s social histories i.e. how long they have been in their current home, if they previously were in other care facilities, if they know their biological parents, etc. And I was so thankful to hear that their facility has detailed records to share with us of each child’s life journey thus far, that we may use this info to better provide counseling and therapy and help them adjust and or recover from whatever fears they may hold in their past, or scars they may carry with them. The field of adolescent counseling and therapy draws me as I see the emotional traumas and needs in the eyes of the children of this nation. Their strength and resolve in the face of neglect, rejection, abuse, and the death of loved ones(things so common to most of Haiti’s children) astounds me, and tears at my heart, wishing and willing them to not have to be so strong, to not have to carry the burden on their shoulders, and the fear in their heart.
Please cover us in your prayers as we start the training of new nanny caregivers at Toddler House that they will see the hurt and needs, and by God’s power be filled with compassion and wisdom knowing just how to help each child here and each child that comes in. Please pray for our current staff that their workload may not seem too overwhelming as they get to know their new children, and help to train their new coworkers. And especially and most importantly please pray for the three little ones that have come in over the last two weeks and these new children as they come this week leaving all that they know, loved caregivers, and friends at the orphanage and move on to our home.
3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— Exodus 31:3NIV
Posted on Sun, February 13, 2011