Helping Haitian Kids – Esther’s Story

February 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

As previously mentioned, following the devastating earthquake, Southwest Key Programs (SWK) was asked by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to help in a special project involving Haitian children already in the process of being adopted by American families.

SWK staff are working from sites in Florida interviewing prospective adoptive families and expediting paperwork so these Haitian children can be united with their new families.

I just received another account from one of the SWK volunteers who just returned from Florida.  Here is her story. Her name is Esther.

“While in Florida, I had the opportunity to provide immediate care to Haitian orphans and to help expedite their unification with their adoptive parents. One night a plane came in with nearly twenty children. My guess would be that most were under the age of 10, although they looked much younger to me. There was one little boy who I helped get cleaned up that looked like a 4 year old at most, but I found out later he was 6 years old. He was small and clearly malnourished.

When they first arrived, they all looked fatigued, shocked, and sad. We had prepared mats with blankets for each kid. We then cleaned the kids who needed to be cleaned and gave them all socks and shoes if they didn’t have any, along with juice and snacks. Each child also had a medical check up to make sure they did not require emergency medical care.

We got to play with the kids, who by that point looked entirely different than when they arrived—now with smiles and laughter. Some had enough energy to play for hours, while others preferred to take a much-needed nap.  All this was happening while we prepared paperwork and did other relevant tasks. On one occasion, I had the chance to see an adoptive mother leave with her two girls. The kids were all just absolutely precious.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to do this work alongside passionate and competent Southwest Key staff from several states. I learned a tremendous amount from their expertise and was impressed by their patience and flexibility. Truly, the people of Southwest Key are making a difference in the lives of many.”


Entry filed under: Natural Disaster, Southwest Key Programs. Tags: , , , , , .

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