THIS NEED HAS BEEN MET! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!
I want to post about Christmas, it was beautiful. This morning was literally something out of my little girl dreams, holding my baby daughter on my lap, laughing with my little boy while he discovered joy with each gift revealed. We splurged on a special breakfast, fried spam, eggs and pancakes and then off to OLTCH Orphanage. We were blessed to have been invited and I was incredibly thankful to have my friend Lydia, who is a great photographer, capture some moments. I am waiting to get those treasures from her.
At around 3 this afternoon I was called to the gate. Standing outside were Gup’s parents. It was the first time I had met his father. Because of a lot of confusion and dishonesty in the past I had a much different impression of this little “family”. Today I met him and he has the same ears that I love to whisper into.
For the most part Gup looks just like his mother but today I saw him in the face of a grown man. A face that I alwasys thought I would someday know. Theirs is a story that I wish I could share but I am still so hurt and angry, I will not do something I will someday regret.
Instead I will only say what I keep telling myself… I promised to come to Haiti to do everything in my power to keep families together. It seemed like a great plan, it is a wonderful, much needed work. But, I never imagined that in that committing to that, I was committing to tearing my own family, and heart, apart.
Family, what does it mean? How is it built? Is he any more theirs than he is mine, just because he has their eyes, ears, their blood in his veins? What about the fact that he has my laugh, that he eats his toast just like I do, that he shares my memories. It’s hard to figure out and impossible to define. What I have come to accept is this, if my son grows up to learn that his mother and father are married to each other (rare enough here) that they have two other children together, that they wanted him and I kept them apart, he could very well hate me. He would have every right to be angry. Who am I to think that I could raise him better? How could I compare and claim that I love him more? This is something that I have to do for them, for him, for families!
I hate that they were broken apart for all of those months. I hate that they missed so much time together, all of them. I hate that he missed them and they missed him. I hate that every single day that I loved him was a day that they missed. I hate the circumstances that lead to this place but I don’t hate them. Sometimes I want to, sometimes I want to think horrible, judgmental thoughts but I fight them back with all that I am.
I can not hate his father for leaving to find work because if I hate this one I hate all the others, all the fathers and sons in this country who are forced to leave their families to try and provide for them. I can’t hate him and claim to love the rest of them.
I can’t hate her either, the woman who’s baby was starving to death. I can’t hate her for “abandoning” her child. I can’t hate those women who are convinced by someone that they best thing they can do is give their child away. I can hate the system that tries to fix by breaking, but I can’t hate her.
He left to do what he had to do. She gave him up because no one took the time to tell her that she didn’t have to. They made the choices and decision that they knew, and now things are different. Now they still struggle but most of the time they eat. Life is still hard, it probably always will be but they have made a new decision now, now they have decided to that their precious son belongs with them. I can’t argue with that.
If I have any regrets it’s only that I didn’t know sooner. Even though it would have meant missing precious and life changing months, I wish I would have known. I wish I would have known how hard he tried. I wish I would have know how desperate her love was. If I had known I would have done something then.
I can’t go back in time, I can’t fix what I didn’t do but I can now. I can do everything in my power for my son.
Unfortunately, “everything in my power” isn’t much at all.
Gup’s parents live in a small shack/home in Carrefour, a city not far from Leogane. When I visited my heart broke. I know he belongs with them but how could I send my baby to that place? I spoke to them about my concerns. They told me that they rented the “building” for 2,500 gourdes, just over $50usd for 6 months. In January their lease is up. They are prepared to renew. I asked them to wait. Could we find something better. What would it cost. For a mere $500usd I was able to find a clean, 2 room home with a covered outdoor kitchen and bathroom. I want my baby to live there, I might be able to handle the thought of my child sleeping in that place.
Their belongings are meager, a few pots, a table, a bed. They will need things to fill their new home, I want more than anything to give them to them.
There are 2 other boys in the home, a 6 year old and a 3 year old. The 6 year old goes to school with money his father made selling all of the chickens that he was able to collect, somehow.
I want to be clear in telling you that this family has asked me for NOTHING. Nothing that is, except their child back. I want to give them everything, mostly I want to give HIM everything. I want my baby boy to live in a home that is comfortable. I want him to eat when he is hungry and I want him to go to school and learn! I want to give him all of it but I can give him none…
My job is running this organization, unfortunately the paycheck that comes with it is a bit less than nothing. All of the money that comes in from my other part time job goes directly into Espwa Berlancia. I can not take money that was designated for something else and spend it on whatever I want, no matter how great the need feels in my heart. I need you, yes YOU. I need your help. Wideline, Gereald, and Gup need your help.
My son’s brothers need your help.
We need $500. to pay for their rent for a year.
I need $300. to buy furniture and supplies for their home.
I need 3 people who are willing to sponsor each of the boys for $25. per month to pay for their food and care.
I need your help. I am begging. If I could get down on my knees before each of you and ask I would. My heart is breaking over losing my boy and not being able to do anything about it or anything for him. My heart is breaking over their struggles. My heart is breaking because they had to give him away, and because now I have to give him back. My heart is breaking because I gave him things that taught him to expect a different life than they will give. Every single second my heart feels like it will shatter into a million pieces. I know that buying them things will not make this hurt go away but it might make it feel just a little more bearable.
If you will help me, I just might be ok.
If you can help Gup’s family please send me an email rhyanbuettner(at)espwaberlancia(dot)org.