As a mother, I always thought, and still do, that I have the most beautiful, intelligent, witty children that God could have graced me with. I’m sure that all mothers feel the same way about their children.
On January 12, 2010, I sat in front of my TV with tears streaming down my face watching the coverage on the earthquake in Haiti. I stopped trying to wipe the tears away and just let them fall. As so many of us must have thought, I wished that there was something I could do. I remember saying that if I was rich I would adopt a child. We live month to month, pay check to pay check. I couldn’t imagine how I could help without having a lot of money. There were many fundraisers in Bermuda directly after the earthquake. I did donate, but I always wished there was more I could do. When the opportunity came up to go to Haiti two years after the earthquake, I barely hesitated. I still didn’t know how I would get the funds to go, but I was driven to go. Because of the generosity of the Bermuda people, I raised not only the funds to go, but money to give to the orphanage and 5 duffel bags of donations to take with me.
Arriving at the orphanage, I never thought I would be able to fall so in love with so many children in such a short time. I have truly extended my family. My youngest daughter is almost 5 years old. She likes to look at the pictures of our ‘family’ in Haiti. She told me that she wishes she could play with her brothers and sisters in Haiti.
These children have come from various backgrounds. A lot of them lost parents in the earthquake. When you ask them, some will tell you that their parents are dead in Port Au Prince, just as if they were telling you something trivial like what the weather was like yesterday. They have learned to deal with so much.
Young Daphnika is not sure how old she is. I estimated her to be around 8 years old. It is difficult as a lot of them are small for their ages due to malnutrition. Daphnika has the most beautiful smile. She was found living in the trees all by herself, torn clothes, full of mud and all alone. I look at my 9-year-old daughter and can’t imagine her having to go through such an ordeal. How scared must she have been? Yet beautiful Daphnika doesn’t complain. She is such a happy, loving child. God has a purpose for each of these children. She has touched my life and so many others who have had the chance to meet her.
A young girl, Abinada, smiles so much, I’m sure she smiles in her sleep. With Bermudians propensity for nicknames, she most certainly would be pegged as ‘Smiler’, ‘Happy’ or ‘Cheesie’.
Yes, Abinada is, you guessed it, the one grinning in the front!
These children have found happiness in the small things. I have always told my children that happiness is a choice. These children have proved it’s true. I am happy not because of my circumstances, but despite them.
Originally Posted on May 7th 2012 at http://rachaelburrows.wordpress.com/
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