Friday, December 11, 2009

Real Life

Our last night at the Rescue Center we met this family. It was a strange moment because I've read stories about families that are struggling just to put food in their bellies. I've read blogs about them. I've tried to imagine what it would be like to be in their situation.
I just haven't ever seen it in real life.

These cuties are Ronel (7 years old weighs 28.5 pounds), Marie-Lange (2.5 years old weighs 13.4 pounds) and Wideline (6 years old and wieghs 26 1/4 pound). Wideline was at the Rescue Center when we arrived and had been there about 2 weeks.

Mom and Dad look so solemn in this picture (still not sure why Haitians don't smile for pictures ;) ), but they were so smiley and friendly in real life. When we met the oldest child, we thought that she was a HE, only because of how she was dressed, but realized the next morning that we were wrong. That was a bit of a surprise. When Mom came up to talk to me I was able to communicate that I have 5 kids and that I thought her baby was so cute. Then I realized that she was visably pregnant. WOW- was all I could think. I can't even imagine how overwhelmed they must feel.
I've had 2 "unexpected" children and it totally threw us for a loop. I can't imagine struggling to find food and then knowing you will soon have another mouth to feed. Plus it's dangerous for the baby that is still nursing and still needs breast milk so badly. So many things to overcome.

Lori took Marie-Lange upstairs when they first arrived. It was so hard to see her frail little body standing there. Her older sister told Licia they hadn't eaten anything all day. This was about 8pm. Can you imagine?

Her legs are swollen from lack of protein. Her bones are showing from lack of food. Hard to imagine that this is real life for them. My heart hurt for her and for her family and for every other family that is struggling just to eat.

This is how Ronel looked when she arrived.
It was tough to tell she was a girl. ;)
She was happy to have some cookies from Licia and she was quietly talking to their homeschool teacher, Anna.

This is Ronel the next morning. I hate seeing the hopelessness in her eyes. BUT it was amazing to see the after effect of all the kids that came into the center with the same look on their face and now they are smiling and gaining weight. I can't wait to see pictures of her and her family as they grow and find hope again.

Wideline's legs are still recovering from the kwashiorkor.

You can see every little bone. :(

Marie-Lange, the morning we left the RC.

After 2 weeks, Wideline still had moments when you could see she didn't feel well...

...and she was still so tiny and weak.
(at this point she lost a lot of her water weight and everything about her was tiny.)

But we started to see glimmers of happy.

Glimmers of hope.

And WE have hope that her sisters will be smiling soon too and that Real Life for them won't be such a struggle.

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