Hope In Haiti

Sarah Suitter
CCAI Dossier Specialist

I feel like one of the few that have the pleasure of going to work each day to a job I care deeply about. About two weeks ago, I returned from my first adoption-related trip!  In Haiti, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with 9 terrific CCAI families, visiting and bonding with their Haitian adoptees.  I can tell you right now, I’ve never felt so passionate for the work that is being done through CCAI.

This little heart-breaker is Ernelson. He is being adopted by one of our families! Yay!

This experience impacted me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  I anticipated the strife and hardship of this impoverished nation, but to witness and experience the profound hope, the joy of the people and the genuine care for these poor children was extremely moving.

The hope I witnessed in Haiti was rivaled only by the courage, determination, and love of the families working so hard to give these children a chance at a better life.  I was and am so inspired by their actions.  For nearly all of the adoptive families on this trip, this would be their first time in Haiti, their first time meeting the child they’ve held close only in their hearts. Adoptive parents make such an amazing commitment, investing so much financially and emotionally in order to invest in the life of a child and love them unconditionally for the rest of their lives. I witnessed families growing right in front of me and it was beautiful.

I am thankful that I was able to observe the orphanage environment first-hand in Haiti.  It was clear to me that everyone, from the Director to the nannies to the guards that stood watch, loved and cared for these precious children. And to many of the children, the orphanage is their family. While the orphanage cannot meet these children’s every need, they are loved and cared for while they dream of a family and a future outside of the orphanage walls.

By far the most difficult thing about this trip was watching the adoptive parents as they said their goodbyes to their adoptive children. The heart-wrenching reality of Haiti adoption is that you are able to meet, hold, and bond with your child well before governments will allow you to bring them home. The children cried, the parents cried, I cried; but the tears were bittersweet, the sadness buffered by the hope that remains.

Leaving Haiti was difficult, but hope and love remain on both ends; in the hearts of the parents who wait patiently in the US and in the daily acts of those who care for their children in Haiti.  I come back to my office job with a strengthened sense of purpose, a deeper appreciation for the families we work with, and gratitude for the love that intertwines us all.