Saturday, October 28, 2006

A New Addition to the Family

I just wanted to share with everyone the newest addition to the Hands & Feet Project family. Her name is Barbara Louis and she is 15 months old. Michelle and I were approached by her mother who was sent by the Mayor of Jacmel to see if we could take her in. She was very poor and coulndt afford to keep Barbara. She couldn’t really work because there was no one to watch her daughter, so the only way she could feed them was to do dishes for some lady for little cash. She seemed like she took care of her the best she could, but we could tell by the clothes that they were wearing and her demeanor that they were really poor. Michelle felt that what were being told was honest so she talked with Drex and Jo about taking her in. They suggested we go to the Mayor and confirm that the things she told us were true. We went down to the Majestrate with Frenell who translated for us and Barbara and her mother. The mayor knew her right away and he began to confirm her story. So we asked him if we could take her that day and start the paperwork to make it legal. He had an official document written up to protect us untill Drex came back and made everything totally legal. We put our names on the document so if there was anything that came up, then we would have legal proof that we took her in. Well the paperwork people made a mistake and put down as Michelle and I being married. Jeremy and Michelle Picker. We thought that was pretty funny. We joked that in one afternoon, we got married, had a new little girl, and was on our honeymoon in the carrabean. Then 3 days later we got sick of each other and she left me to go back to the states. All in joking of course( dont worry mom, I didnt get married.)
The more I thought about what was taking place, the more my heart began to break. We were getting ready to take a baby away from her mother. The thought of that is so overwhelming. You could tell that there were many emotions running through the mother’s head. Probably thought of relieve for the fact that she could take care of herself and find work to feed her, but at the same time confusion and sorrow for giving up a little life she brought into this world. I told her that she can sleep well at night for this is the best thing she could do for her child. Of course being with the mother is the ultimate, but if she couldnt take care of her, giving her to the Hands and Feet Project would be a good thing. I told her that her daughter would have instant brothers and sisters and a loving home. She will be taken care of from food, to medicine to education and that she can have confidence that Barbara will be taken care of. As we gave her some money for food and transportation and took barbara with us, she began to cry uncontrolably, for she understood that she was being taken away from her mother. As we drove off, Michelle held Barbara close to her chest and she stopped crying and her wwhole demeanor changed. I believe she felt that she was in a place of saftey and felt the love that we gave her. Be brought her to Edeline and iinformed all the children that she was their new little sister. We had to get some diapers and clothes for her and get her on some medicatio. She had scabies and we gave her worm medicine. As she observed everything around her, she began to run free as if she was breaking out of jail. She began to laugh and smile and it gave me joy unspeakable. We came back later that day and saw that she was going to fit in just fine. As you can see by the pictures, she is a beautiful little girl and has a heart warming smile. I would take her home if I could, but she is adjusting to her new family very well.
I feel honored that I can be a part of this “changing of the gaurd” as much as it is sad and heartbreaking, but I know that we are helping a child have a better life for the future. And that makes everything that happens here worth it. Thank you all for your support and prayers.

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