Since shortly after the earthquake in 2010, I (Dixie) have felt God telling us to get back to our roots here in Haiti. John and I have talked about it for the last 7 years and tried to figure out what exactly that would look like for GLA. Since 2010, we have done an average of 4-5 adoptions per year. Adoptions were never the main focus of the ministry. Taking in abandoned, malnourished, and premature babies was always our focus. But from the years 2000 – 2010, more children came for adoption and so our adoption program was born.
But things have changed. We are wanting to focus on assisting the children in the area where we are currently living. There are so many children back in the mountains here who are malnourished and sick. Babies who just need that little boost to get well and to be able to return to their parents. It was children from this area that started our assistance program back in 1994. For 2018, these are the children we will try to focus on.
We have some children already here who are in the adoption program and we will finish those adoptions. Only if a child is a true orphan, will we help find them a family, but we will not accept children who have a living parent unless IBESR tells us we must accept them and IBESR sends them to us. Sometimes due to family situations, abuse, neglect and other reasons, IBESR will declare a child abandoned and for adoption. But only under those circumstances will we accept children with living parents for adoption. If a child with a living parent comes for help, we will take them for assistance and help the parent to find work, but not for adoption. This is going in effect now.
Last week, we received 6 new children into GLA for assistance and adoption and we had one child go home to her forever family. We have been waiting since early 2017 for IBESR to match some of our children with adoptive families. They are very slow in doing this. We have about 20 children’s dossiers in IBESR waiting. Some of these children have been at GLA 7 years! It has taken so long to get their dossiers ready and through the Children’s judge for approval. So please pray with us that IBESR will hurry and give matches for these remaining children who have been here at least 2 years or more!
Above: These twin girls are here for assistance. Mom and Dad are super young. Mom is only 17 years old. Mom is staying with them and trying to breast feed the babies. They weigh almost 4 pounds each. 3 lbs 12 oz and 3 lbs 14 oz to be exact. So far they are doing well and we are keeping them warm in incubators. It is COLD at Fort Jacques right now!
Here are the other 4 children who came last week:
Please pray for these children as they get healthy and stay with us while their sole care giver takes a break from caring for the children and work out some problems in their lives. Top left: James’ mother is young and feels overwhelmed. She wants to put him for adoption but we are considering him for assistance and hopefully, we can help the mother find work. The mother has a new boyfriend in her life who does not want to care for her little boy. This is a big problem in Haiti. This is why assistance is so important while the mother reflects on what is important in her life. Top right: Dave’s mother is physically and mentally handicapped from a fever she had as a child. Pray that her family will step forward and help her with this child. Bottom left: Keny’s mom and dad were killed in Hurricane Matthew. Grandma has been trying to care for him but lives in the Hurricane area and cannot provide for him. She asked for him to be adopted. Bottom right: Jeph is handicapped and the mother is very young. He is 13 months old but looks like he’s maybe 6 months old if that! We are having trouble diagnosing his condition and he is not gaining weight very well. We have started him on a special formula called Elacare and we pray that he will not vomit this formula and that he will gain weight now. He is here for assistance at this time. Again, the mother has a new boyfriend and we think she just needs a break from the demands of caring for a child with special needs.
In other news:
In 2018, our adoption coordinator and the sponsorship coordinator positions are changing. Effective March 1st, we will eliminate the Adoption coordinator position which Melissa Friesen has filled since after the earthquake. In April, our sponsorship coordinator, Molly Minnaugh is also leaving. We will move one of our Haitian workers into those positions when it’s required. At this time, neither position is full time year round. John and I so appreciate Melissa’s and Molly’s time of serving here at GLA. Pray for the them as they move on from GLA.
I (Dixie) did those positions by myself until we had 50 children. I will take over parts of these positions again with the help of Joel and Ingrid Rockemann and Haitian staff. Again, we are trying to get back to basics and focus on quality care.
We are also looking for opportunities to speak in churches and small groups. If you are interested in having someone from GLA come visit your church, please contact Chelsie or Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 719-638-4348.
Please keep us all in your prayers as we seek God’s will for GLA and the changes we are considering for some of our programs. Our number one priority is caring the children of Haiti and that will never change!