by Kayla Raymond
For several months, Ali has been asking me to visit a little girl with her. She jokes how she has another child picked out for me to take in: a little girl who can’t walk and lies in the dirt all day.
I avoid Ali’s invitation and shrug off her jokes.
You all know of Ali, right? She’s my best Haitian, real friend, in case you don’t know of her. She’s been living at Tytoo Gardens orphanage for close to two years and she is the real deal. She runs the Starfish program at Tytoo and has desperate moms coming to her on a daily basis. Basically, Ali carries the same burdens that I do and handles them with grace while trying to find a solution. Ali sometimes tosses her problems my way and I toss mine her way. She’s the one friend who does poverty with me and I am truly grateful for her.
Anyways, Ali finds a way to get me to meet this little girl. When a pediatric, Michelle, comes from South Dakota to visit us, Ali has the both of us sitting in the dirt and on a bucket checking out this babe. She’s four years old, weighs around 18 pounds, does not walk nor barely talk. Her mom passed away when she was three months old and has been tossed around households since. For the past 8 months she has been living with a Starfish woman and that’s how Ali first met her. Michelle diagnosed her with spina bifida after assessing her and seeing the dimple at the top of her butt cheeks.
Her name is Chedline and she has had me since the moment I met her.
From the moment I met her, it scared me how much she reminded me of my daughter Wishla. They don’t really look anything alike, but there’s this spirit radiating from the both of them that makes my heart tremble. Something so familiar, yet hard to recognize. And after a couple nights of thinking and dreaming of her, I know exactly what these feelings mean: God is at work again.
I find God’s timing remarkable. I love how He waited to introduce me to Chedline until Michelle came to visit, because Michelle and I both want to help her.
Michelle left Haiti four short days after meeting Chedline and has been busy praying and thinking about Chedline as well.
Tomorrow Chedline will become a part of my little, crazy family. Our first steps are to get Chedline legal guardianship over Chedline so that we can start working on a medical visa. Michelle and her family are working on finding doctors who can help Chedline and will be her host family, if God makes a way for Chedline to find her way to the United States. As I have been reaching out to people here in Haiti, learning how to obtain a medical visa, I am becoming more and more hopeful as I learn about several spina bifida cases that have gotten medical visas in the past.
I sat down with my boys and showed them a picture of the little girl who will sleep in the new bed set up in Wishla’s room. I explain to them how she can’t walk and how I want to help her get better. I show them a picture of her sleeping on the dirt and explain how she doesn’t have a bed to sleep on. They ask me why she’s so small and I further explain how she doesn’t always have food to eat. And Loveson…bless him…says, “well make her come here so we can give her food and she can have big muscles like me!”
So, that’s what we are going to do: take her in so she can get big muscles. I am encouraged by the hearts of my own boys. How they want to take care of her as well.
At this point, we don’t know the long term plan for Chedline. Our main focus is to get her the proper medical attention. If it’s God’s plan to have her stay in the US and be adopted, He will make a way. If it’s for her to come back and be reunited with family, He’ll make a way. If it’s for her to be a part of our forever family, He’ll make a way and be sure to do a lot of convincing in my husband’s heart 😉
So, will you pray with us as Chedline transitions into our home this week. Will you pray for all the papers to be retrieved quickly as we work towards custody and a medical visa. Will you pray for Chedline’s spirit and health. Will you pray for my family as our home will change with this addition. Will you pray for wisdom as we make decisions about her life.
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
– Matthew 17:20