Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Difference of a Mom

Orphanages fill a great need in many aspects.  Without them, thousands of children would be dead.  That's just a fact.  But nothing can replace a mother. 

 In Haiti, there are so many reasons children end up in orphanages. You say, "Well, aren't their parents all dead?" Some yes... however, many end up in institutions due to extreme poverty.  Parents feel they have to make the impossible choice to give their children up in order to give them a better life; three meals a day, clean clothes, medical care, an education to name a few.  These parents choose an institution over parenting their child to simply improve their living conditions and give them a better chance at life...or even just to prevent their death.  A child needing the type of medical attention that Milonia does, many times is "thrown away" as caring for a child with this serious of a need seems hopeless. 

I have always respected Roseny (Milonia's mother) for choosing to keep both of her children. As an unemployed single mother in Haiti I'm sure she has lived through countless nights of listening to the whines of her girls going to bed hungry. I know she has seen Milonia deteriorate and get sicker, near death lying in a hospital bed.  As a mother myself, I can hardly stomach the thought of what this woman has been through with her dear daughter. This could be so easily solved by walking her girls right down the street to the nearest orphanage. There, they could have adequate nutrition, schooling, and life saving medical care for her daughter, Milonia.  Instead, Roseny chose to hang onto her girls.  I've never discussed with her as to why... however, as a mother myself; my guess is that she just couldn't bear the thought of her babies not being with her.

Milonia has a mother, someone to love her and ultimately take care of her.  This isn't the case for so many just like her in Haiti who suffer from such a serious disease as Diabetes.  

Here is the story of Kelinise.  I have heard her story several times but this time it resonated with me in a different way.  She is just as sick as Milonia.  However, in addition to the nearly impossible daily struggle of dealing with a disease like Diabetes in Haiti...she must also deal emotionally with the fact that her family, those who by nature should love you most...have turned their back on her.  To quote Amy in her post "The difference between Kelinise and Milonia is that Milonia has a mom. She has someone that she can call during the day when she isn't feeling well. She has someone that believes in her enough to send her to school even though she might not be able to attend everyday, even though she might never make it past the 5th grade."

What a difference a mom makes!

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