A few months ago, we wrote a very difficult blog about Samara and how she ended up back with us at the orphanage. Unfortunately, we have to write a very similar blog today about Heworlson. When we brought the kids out of their old home and into Hope Rising back in April 2015, Heworlson was one of the kids who stayed with his Mom. This was not a difficult decision at all for anyone. His Mom clearly loved him and cared for him and we made a deal where he would live there and we would continue to pay for Heworlson’s school as long as they needed it. From that time until just a few months ago, we did not see Heworlson very often at all. When we did, he was the same old Heworlson, really playful, really fun to hang out with, and he looked pretty healthy as well. He was doing ok in school, but he struggled in school before as well.
Then something happened just a few months ago when we came to Haiti with Elijah for the first time back in August. We walked down to the kids house, and there was Heworlson. After not really seeing him at all for a couple of years and him rarely visiting the orphanage, we saw him for a few days in a row. Then we found out he was eating almost every meal there, that he came every time Richadeley came (which was everyday at this point, including Saturday and Sunday), and it had been happening for a few weeks. So we obviously had to get to bottom of it, and we feared the worst for Heworlson’s sake and unfortunately we were right. Heworlson’s Mom recently moved to Brazil and left Heworlson here in Haiti with his grandmother. The strange part of this story is that Heworlson’s grandmother is also Richadeley’s Mom which obviously makes Richadeley (one of the kids that we currently take care of but does not live with us) Heworlson’s uncle and this was the reason Heworlson was always there with him.
This is story is difficult for many reasons, but the worst part is that Heworlson and his Mom had a clear bond and what we thought was a good relationship. I wish she would have spoken with us prior to leaving so that we could have done something to help her stay but it didn’t happen. If you remember, Richadeley started coming to get meals and tutoring last school year. We saw him when he came to get his uniform made and he looked terrible so we immediately stepped in to start caring for him and we will do the same thing with Heworlson. We will provide him with food, school, tutoring, clothes, etc. but we will never be able to replace the one person in his life who should have never left him. In no way are we judging his mom because we cannot understand the depths of what true poverty can make you do. However, for Heworlson’s sake, I am afraid that was the worst thing that could have happened to him. It is with a heavy heart that I write this and let you know that Heworlson is with us again part-time. We are open to allowing him to stay here if his grandmother needs that, but I think he is better off where he is as long as she can handle him.
Heworlson is a wonderful kid. He is extremely playful and he has a love for life that you do not always find even in children. I remember specifically one of the first times we came down. Heworlson must have been 3-4 at the time (he is 7 now) and the moon was visible during the day at around 3:00. Well, that was about the craziest thing he had ever seen and he started chanting “Lalin, lalin, lalin” (moon in creole) over and over again just pointing and laughing at something he did not think should be happening. He gets in trouble a lot but not because he is bad or a troublemaker, just because he wants to do everything and be a part of everything. I hope that this event in his life does not steal from him the joy that he exudes on a daily basis.
Finally, we are asking you to help us in this situation in 2 ways. First of all, please pray for Heworlson through this huge change in his life. He is still pretty young, but he did have strong bond with his Mom and it will be devastating for him to continue to realize that she is not coming back. He has told me a few times that he talks to his mom on the phone, but Richadeley told me that they have not heard from her in quite a while because she does not have phone that can call from Brazil. The other thing is that we are looking for sponsors for Heworlson again! I know some of you reading this are some of his old sponsors, and we would welcome you back. We will be looking for 3 sponsors for Heworlson just like we did for Richadeley. His sponsorship will include school, 3 meals per day, tutoring after school, and any of his other needs that arise while he is with us. Sponsors can also send down gifts, letters, etc. throughout the year to get to know Heworlson better. If you are interested in joining “Team Heworlson” please let us know by clicking here.