Update from Haiti

The First Few Days…

The past few days I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of one on one with several children, but one child in particular is a 2 month old baby. Yes, 2 months old. Her story is incredibly devastating but unfortunately that is most of their stories. As I held her the other day and rocked her to sleep I couldn’t help but to look into her eyes and wonder about her life before she arrived at the orphanage. So small and completely dependent on others and now completely dependent on strangers. However, all of these children become dependent on strangers.

I try my best when I am here to take as many kids aside as I can and spend one on one time with them whether that be blowing bubbles, coloring, rocking on the porch or singing songs. Even if I won’t be here long term I think it is so important for these children to have time to feel important, loved and special.

Today, I taught one of the toddlers how to blow bubbles and the excitement on her face left me without words. Prior to this she was pretty expressionless and I really could not seem to figure her out. But this was a totally new experience for her and she was having the time of her life. Her little dimples, white teeth, and bright eyes lit up the room with every bubble she blew. I honestly could have sat in the office with her for hours doing this because it was truly priceless.

I think we all strive to find our calling, to fulfill our purpose and to truly discover what our passion is. Sometimes it takes a while to find your way and discover where you fit in this massive world though. But when I am here, here in Haiti, I know this is where I belong.

Hilary Clemons, Haiti Adoption Specialist

Reality of an Orphanage

I have had a blog post similar to the one I am about to write but I am hopeful that the following information may help families, individuals, volunteer teams, etc really understand what an orphanage in another country is actually like and how your involvement truly can impact these children’s lives.

The kids are amazing. But, honestly amazing does not even begin to describe them. They are so resilient, full of joy and so smart. Most of the children hope to have a family in America and because of that they work extremely hard to learn English or at least enough to help communicate with their families when they come. They are so selfless.. Several times you will see the older children helping with the younger children by providing redirection, helping the nannies care for the babies, or simply entertaining the younger children. It is one big family unit. They ALL want your attention, hugs and affection. Now, that can be overwhelming for someone who has never traveled to an orphanage in another country because the amount of children that run up to you, pull on you and beg for you to pick them up is not only overwhelming but heartbreaking. You also might hear a lot of the children yelling “blan” when you enter a room or walk up to an orphanage which means white in creole.    Also, unless an orphanage has stateside help they are making it through everyday life by meeting the bare minimum and by meeting the bare mimimum they are surviving and actually doing very well for themselves. But, the bare minimum in another country looks very different than the bare minimum you might see in the states.

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My journey in Haiti on my own has been a totally different experience than the first time here. I had to be more confident, totally independent and have a lot of faith in myself to succeed. But, the thing that kept me going was walking into the orphanage on day one and the kids actually remembering me… it felt as if I had never left. Immediately calling my name, giving me hugs, and holding my hand; I was home. Everyday I made a point to go to every room and say hello to all of the children because they ALL are important, kind and smart. Through this I continued to build rapport with the children and got to know some new kiddos along the way. A lot of things happened on this trip for my personal growth and the growth of the adoption program.

As I left Haiti I was accompanied by several little friends from the orphanage and other children screamed my name as I got in the car. It was hard. The hardest of hard and I could not help but to cry. For a second I contemplated just loosing my passport…

The work here is extremely difficult and it is never finished but being able to truly connect with these children is what keeps me going and honestly I think it may keep them going too. Half of my heart is always in Haiti and like I told the kids, “this is not goodbye this is just see you later.”

Till next time Haiti. ❤️🇭🇹

Resources

About Post Author

Ana Spotts

My goal as a promotion specialist for GWCA and CAN is to advocate for the Waiting Children in our international adoption programs to help them find loving Forever Families.

6 Comments

  • Shannon 3:44 pm - July 18, 2017

    Oh Hilary, this is exactly why I chose this agency…YOU! Your compassion and love for the Haitian people and their country matches my own and I’m so grateful to have found you. Thank you for your incredible work!

  • Sara 3:49 pm - July 18, 2017

    Been thinking of you Hilary non stop these past few days knowing you’re in Haiti. Praying for God’s wisdom over you as you meet with these little ones.

  • Kathy 7:28 pm - July 18, 2017

    Precious precious pics❤️

  • Carole 12:35 am - July 19, 2017

    Hilary I am so proud of your devotion to these children. You are amazing at what you do. I sending my love for you to give to the children who are so dearly blessed to have you by their sides.

  • Renee 2:16 pm - July 28, 2017

    Hilary, we’ve been thinking about you and praying for you and are so happy your trip was a success. Your simple abundance of love and kindness filled the Haitian children wonderfully. They will wait for you to come back because you have given them your unconditional love which is such a special gift in and of itself. Forever hold onto all the memories you made in Haiti ,that alone will brighten up the toughest days in the states. when the time is right go back and do it all over again, as Haiti always has a way of stealing our hearts, and reminding us all of what’s really important in life, while bringing joy to our inner souls. God Bless you always…

  • Francesca 12:36 pm - July 29, 2017

    Hilary, these pictures mean the world to us. You are our eyes and ears, you carry a piece of our hearts as you come in contact with the sweet Haitian children! We are grateful for your work and we look forward to joining you in this most amazing mission of love.

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