I'm sure you remember Lovena, my little darling from Jubilee who went to stay at Dorothy's because we couldn't control her malnutrition.
After 7 months at the rescue center, she came back to Jubilee, walking and looking healthy and plump. Her grandmother had told me that she wouldn't be able to take Lovena back but when the trustworthy orphanages nearby had no open spots, we didn't really have another choice. I was nervous - what if grandma refused Lovena when she arrived? What if she deliberately neglected her to convince me to find a new home for her?
On the appointed evening, I was waiting in Jubilee with Lovena's family as my friends drove the delivery truck back from Port-au-Prince. Little by little, the group with me grew until most of the neighbors were sitting in the dark with me, waiting expectantly. Her young aunt and uncle, Chelda and Ecclesiaste, bounced anxiously beside me, "When is she coming, Miss Keziah? When is she coming?" Against the black starry sky, 10 year old Chenchina stood up and extended her hands to the heavens, "Jesus, please make our Little Mouse get here soon!"
Minutes later, the trucks headlights appeared behind the old market building and pandemonium ensued! The children, about a score of them, started jumping up and down, yelling and cheering and laughing and hugging one another so exuberently that they kept falling on the ground. The dozen adults started running toward the truck and practically fought to be the first to hold little Lovena.
Lovena is home. Home with the family who loves her, despite the hardship of caring for her, despite the cultural pressure to give away an extra child. I do not doubt that her life will be difficult; I do not doubt that she will be hungry and dirty and sick sometimes. But she is home. And that is where she belongs.