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I know I need to finish writing about Uriah’s last day, but I can’t seem to get myself to do that. So instead I thought I would write about another important day in my life.

When I was 22 years old I was able to go and spend a summer with the Walls, a missionary family in Haiti. I had been there the year before with my family and fell in love with the country. Before I left that summer my mom suggested that I should try to adopt a baby while I was there. I passed this on to the Walls, and they were very willing to help me in my endeavors. The Walls had been in Haiti for close to 20 years. Their two youngest daughters, Dorothy and Rebecca, were still there with them. Rebecca and I really hit it off. We had such a great time working with Mrs. Wall in the clinic, teaching an English class, and teaching a Bible class for the children. So many people would come in to the clinic with such serious medical problems and poor Mrs. Wall didn’t have much to work with, but always seemed to come up with something. Many of the mothers that came would hand their babies to me and ask me to take them. My dad had informed me, before I left, that if I was going to adopt I couldn’t adopt a boy. I really wanted a son, but knew my father knew best. Every baby that was handed to me was a boy. I kept praying that the Lord would help me find the baby He wanted for me.

Rebecca was 17 years old and was starting to miss her nanny, Elia, whom she had grown up with. Elia lived in Cap Haitian, about a four-hour drive away. Before I arrived Rebecca had asked her dad if she could go visit Elia and he had told her no. Once I arrived she had her mom ask if Rebecca and myself could go visit so that I could see what it was like to live in the “city.” He again said no. Because she figured he wouldn’t tell me ‘no’ she had me ask him some time later. He told me we could go but not right now. Week after week went by and Rebecca and I were beginning to think he would never let us go. After I had been there for six weeks he came to us one Saturday evening and said we would be traveling to Cap Haitian the next day to go to church, and that Rebecca and I would be able to stay with Elia until Tuesday when he came back to meet the plane for supplies. To be quite honest we were a bit upset. We had hoped to stay down there for a week or two, so two days didn’t seem like much.

Now that I look back I can see that he was worried. There was much unrest in Haiti. In fact, only a few months later all Americans were forced to leave the country because it wasn’t safe for them to be there. The Haitians were not happy about many things and decided killing the Americans was the answer. At the time I knew that it was a bit dangerous but really didn’t have any idea how much danger we were really in.

When we arrived to Elia’s house after church we had dinner and then Bro. and Mrs. Wall headed back up the mountain. We sat with Elia and planned out the next two days. That evening Rebecca and I wanted to go to the English church. She said that should be ok. On Monday we planned on going to hospitals and orphanages to see if I could find a baby girl. Then Tuesday morning we would head out to the airport to meet Rebecca’s dad. We were about to get ready for church when Elia informed us that she had changed her mind because she didn’t feel we would be safe. Rebecca and I begged her to change her mind. In the middle of our pleading we heard gunshots. She said, “See…it just isn’t safe here after dark.” We asked her what we were going to do. We didn’t want to just sit in her house too scared to go anywhere. So she said she thought it would be safe to walk down the street to her sister’s house and visit with them. I have to admit I wasn’t too happy about this. I only spoke English so the only people I could talk with were Rebecca and Elia. I had longed to go the English church so that I could sing songs and hear a sermon in a language that I spoke.

We headed out for her sister’s house. It was such a nice evening. It was no longer scorching hot outside and there were kids running around, pointing and laughing at us. We stood in front of Jacquelyn’s house and chatted and played with the kiddos. We went in the house because the sun was going down and it wasn’t safe. It was dark inside, but as we entered I could see that the one room had its walls covered with magazine pages. Rebecca explained that this was their wallpaper. There was a dark hallway that led to the back door. Along the wall was a cot that Elia told Rebecca and I to sit on. She stepped out the back door and we sat and stared at the wall in front of us and attempted to read the Haitian magazine pages. I could hear everyone talking in Creole in the back yard. It sounded like there were 4 or 5 people out there. I asked Rebecca what they were talking about. She said they were talking about me wanting to adopt. She said, “Wait a minute…someone just said there is a baby out there with them.” I stood up to peek out the door. There were a handful of people sitting on the ground and in the middle of their little circle was an old stained mattress. It looked like one from an old pullout couch. In the center of this grubby mattress was a little baby.

I asked Rebecca to see if they would let me hold the baby. They said I could but I could tell there was a problem. Rebecca informed me that they were afraid the baby would wet on me since they didn’t have a diaper. The baby was naked with a very thin peach colored bath towel that had been ripped in two wrapped around her bottom. I told them I wouldn’t die if she wet on me. They thought that was funny and handed the baby over. I had to peak under the towel to see if it was a boy or a girl. It was a little girl. She was so cute. She looked up at me with her almost black eyes. I asked for her name. It was Weedlyn. I started to talk and coo to little Weedlyn and she started to smile and coo right back. She had big ole dimples in her cheeks. I thought she looked to be about 4-6 weeks old. I have no recollection of how long I sat playing with Weedlyn, but I was sad when it was time to head back to Elia’s house. The mother of the baby, Linda, said if I wanted I could take Weedlyn with me and she would pick her up later. We decided to do just that. Linda came and got her quite a few hours later, and poor little Weedlyn was getting quite hungry.

After Linda left Elia told us that Linda was considering giving Weedlyn to me. I couldn’t believe it. I started asking all kinds of questions. I found out that Weedlyn was actually three months old and that Linda had just arrived in Cap Haitian from the mountains to let her family see the baby. Linda was only 15 years old. Her father was coming into the city the next day and Linda had to get his permission before she could say for sure. I remember going to bed that night praying that this would be God’s will, and that little Weedlyn would be mine.


R said...

I remember it well. We had a great time. And what a blessing that God lead you to Phebe.

Ruth said...

Beautiful story, Hannah. I again cried reading this. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing more...

Patricia said...

I just barely remember when you adopted Phebe. I'm anxious to hear the rest of the story.