One of the hardest “skills” I have had to learn here in Haiti is how to say “no” to children moving into the CHCH. For the past few months we have been at capacity and the option to bring in a new child wasn’t even under consideration.
Almost weekly, it seems, we have had desperate mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends bring children to our gate asking for help. Sometimes their stories are heart-wrenching and sincere while other times their stories are full half-truths and deception. Deciphering what is true and what is not is something that can only be accomplished with the wisdom of God. And sometimes, I will admit, that wisdom is really hard to come by.
Knowing that we were unable to intake any new children was a true blessing for Hunter, Tabitha, and I for the past few months. We were able step back and re-evaluate our intake process, what paperwork we would we require, and above all else what requirements we were going to create for the children we take in. We wanted to make sure that our orphanage was not creating new orphans but only assisting those already orphaned. With no previous policy in place, we had our work cut out for us.
Knowing that in late January/early February we would have some of our older ones heading off to University, we recommended countless people to bring back their children for us to consider in February. First, we would have an initial interview. After that, the story would be relayed to the other two administrators for prayer and discussion. From there we would decide whether intake was in the best interest of the child. If so, we would have a second meeting with all administration, family, the child, and two of our Haitian staff. Paperwork from IBESR would be completed and then followed up by a home study. Only after all paperwork, certificates, home study, and medical tests were concluded would we invite a child to live at the CHCH. In other words- we are trying to be official and professional.
Needless to say, we have been swamped with children at our front gate. Most people we have had to turn down either because the child wasn’t really an orphan and had people to care for them or because the beds we have available aren’t for children in that age bracket. And believe me, this has been crazy hard.
But last Saturday, we decided to bend the rules just a tad bit and we admitted our first new kid of the year. Let me tell you all about it…
Tabitha and I were in Limonade assisting a medical team from Oklahoma. We were working in the pharmacy translating prescriptions for the people when the preacher of the church approached me about a child. He led me over to one of the doctor stations and introduced me to an elderly woman- probably in her 70s. In her arms was an 8th month old baby. The little girl was her granddaughter. The preacher, Julien, explained to me that the father of the baby was her son. He was disabled and couldn’t work. The mother was deceased which left her, the 70 year old grandmother, caring for the baby. This woman was so old, when I asked her for the baby’s name, she couldn’t remember. Before Julien even had the chance to ask me to take in the baby, in my heart God let me know that she belonged with us at the CHCH. The grandmother handed her to me and I held her, prayed, and then went to consult with Tabitha.
Meanwhile, the grandmother went to get the father. I met with the preacher a little while longer and he vouched for the family and their situation. Because we know and trust him personally we decided to go ahead and take her in. After speaking with the father, meetings were arranged to complete paperwork this week and Gerome walked down to the local market to buy diapers, a bottle, and formula. Back at the CHCH, Hunter sent Ti Marie and Marnelle (both ecstatic about a new baby) out to buy her some new clothes.
Tabitha and I decided to name her Naomi. Ti Marie and the other girls really wanted her to be called Dora(after Dora the Explorer) Rose Kittrell Cromie (Cromie is my maiden name) but as the adults, our name trumped!
Naomi has lived at the CHCH now for four days and is as happy as can be. It took a day or so for her to adjust, but with all the love and attention she is getting from our staff and kids she getting all the nutriment she needs.
Watching our older girls with here has also been such a blessing. They all are going to make some great mommas someday. Even our teenage boys have stepped up to the plate with her. Her nannies never let her go and, Tabitha and I don’t mind holding her every once in a while as well! Moving Naomi in this weekend only proved to me further how much of a family we really are at the CHCH. Everyone cares for everyone else. They are brothers and sisters. Naomi wasn’t even on our grounds for more than a minute before our girls took her, bathed her, fixed her hair, fed her, and changed her clothes at least three times. She was automatically their little sister and it was beautiful.
Now here is where you come in! We now need a sponsor or two for little Naomi. You all know how much it costs to raise a baby and we can’t do this without you. She needs diapers, formula, clothes, and everything else that comes along with only being 8 months old.
If you are interested in becoming a monthly supporter for baby Naomi please contact Tabitha for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be praying for Naomi that she will be more than loved and cherished here at the CHCH and that God will continue to look after her. And feel free to come meet her yourself! She is darlin’.