Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Goodbyes are always hard, especially with children, because a lot of times they do not understand why we have to say goodbye. The unknown is quite scary to them. Today was an especially hard day for me because I had to say multiple goodbyes! It was a very emotional day for me and it was just the first of many to come!

The first goodbyes were said to nine girls from the trafficking incident! They have been here for three weeks now and IBESR (Child Welfare Office of Haiti) has found their biological parents. I was super excited when hearing this news, but at the same time, my heart was aching, because that means I had to say goodbye to the cute little girls. It was a really bittersweet feeling.

My day started with going to the depot and picking out different outfits for the girls to wear. I found a lot of cute little dresses for the girls in the donation sections. There were some super cute outfits, I must say! The girls took showers and had their hair done by the nannies. They all put on their new clothes and got ready to say goodbye to everyone. We also put together a bag each of gifts and clothes for each of the girls to take with them back home. It was just some new clothes and underwear for them to have. All the girls were super excited and some were sad to leave the "heavenly play ground" as they have come to call it. I gave each girl a big hug, kiss, and handed them their bag of goodies. We all snuggled and took lots of pictures before they left.

One girl in particular, Joy* (Not actual name), whom I have bonded with tremendously over the weeks here at Lamardelle, was the little girl that I had a tough time saying goodbye to. She wouldn't let go of my embrace and wanted to stay in my arms just a little bit longer. We took lots of pictures together and I talked to her about how she should be really happy because she made a lot of friends here and they have found her mom and dad. She was excited, but sad that I wasn't going with her. Just before leaving, she whispered in my ears, "I am going to miss you Lori. I love you!" I told her that she will stay in my heart forever and that no matter where she is, I will be thinking of her. The car left with all nine girls and in the back window, I can see little Joy* waving her little hand at me as the car disappeared behind the main gates. I am going to miss you so much Joy*!!!

The second goodbye of the day was to an 18 year old adolescent girl that has been with the orphanage for a year and a half now. She came with her sisters after the earthquake because her mother was struggling financially in taking care of the sisters. Her two older sisters had already left the orphanage about two months ago, but she had stayed longer. It was decided that the foundation will pay for her to go to a public Haitian school by her home for a year and will continue to asses her as a sponsorship program. We wanted her to be able to advance in school and finish her high school studies in a couple of years. Because her biological mother is still alive and her sisters are with her, it is best for the child to return to the family. It was not helping her psychologically to be seperated from her family and just for going to school, shouldn't be the reason to make her stay at the orphanage. So we found a better solution. This way she wouldn't have to live away from her family and can go to a school of her choice that is close by at the same time. I am very happy for her! Her and I have bonded over the two months that I have been here at the orphanage and I am going to miss teaching her English and French every night. I wrote her a letter and gave it to her before she left. One of the main points in the letter was that she has been the one receiving help and aid from others, but I hope one day she'll be able to switch roles and be the one that's helping those who are in need, as well. I pray for her that she can pass on all the positive energy and love that she has received here at the orphanage to others in the future. 

Best of luck girl! I will be praying for your safety, happiness, and success in school!!! Keep working hard!

No comments:

Post a Comment