I got news today that my 14-year-old cousin may be coming to live with me. After nights of sleeping in the streets, her mom was able to place her in a program that will bring her to the US and out of earthquake ravished Port-Au-Prince… she was the only one young enough to send.
In an instant, I realized that my life would completely change. I immediately started making plans to teen-proof my home and my schedule. I had to buy the right foods; set funds aside for schooling and clothing; brush up on my creole; oh my goodness, I don’t have any Haitian friends I can leave her with in case of an emergency; and Oh My God… the emotions suddenly poured out of me. This girl has just experienced what my words may never be able to describe, and now she will be torn from her family, shipped to a foreign land, and forced to live with a complete stranger who barely cooks Haitian foods.
The past few days finally became too much for me to contain. Sitting in the parking lot of Costco, I cried bitterly. How tragic to be in a situation where you have to send your child away; where you can’t even allow yourself to count the cost. And how terribly sad to have to leave your parents and your siblings behind; without the luxury of protest, to lose your family after you’ve already lost your world.