Sunday, September 22, 2013

It was time to find the truth: a beautiful end to an ugly beginning

In April 2012, when my husband and I traveled to Haiti, we were matched with R and W. I mentioned W briefly in my first blog post (here) . The day we met W we were at Giving Hope Rescue Mission creche. He was brought to my husband and I by Heather Elyse. She brought several girls and a couple of boys for us to meet with. W is such a handsome boy with a beautiful smile. He won my heart, so my husband and I ask to spend more time with him. He and R came back to our hotel and Heather encouraged them to spend the night with us. The next day we told Heather we would parent both children. See our blog post here

Heather told us a story of horrific abuse. She said he was, "beaten, neglected, burned with cigarettes, starved and left outside naked and alone." She also told us when he was brought into care he, "had scabies, open sores on his body, and had intestinal parasites." Our hearts were broken for this boy. We returned home and ask our church to pray for him, I spent countless nights praying for our boy, and our children to this day pray for W. We started paying our monthly child support payments for him through Room For Grace International, and started raising money to pay his adoption fees. We also submitted our dossier to adopt both R and W.

One month later I received this message through facebook:

I never received a phone call, and was worried about the outcome of this situation. My husband feared that something just wasn't right. After much prayer we sent this email to Heather on 6/7/12:

Good Morning Heather,
I hope all is well with you! 

I just wanted to be transparent with you and felt %100 positive I NEED to share our thoughts and feelings regarding sweet [W].

Jeremy and I have an overwhelming since of fear and trepidation. We're not sure why we feel this way, but we have been praying like crazy. We both have such a uneasy feeling about his adoption. We prayed together last night and can't determine if it is just fear brought on by the news of his family causing problems, if it's fear of loosing him, or if it's a sense that God is closing the door on his adoption. I don't know what is going on, but I know I need to share with you. You are his mommy right now and I know how much you love and care for him. 

We also wanted you to know you can be %100 open and honest with us. I know you pride yourself in being upfront, but I don't want you to be worried about our feelings.  [W] is WAY more important than our feelings. 

My spirit is in a state of unrest. I am however, trusting the sovereignty of our Lord. 

Much love and prayers,


Her response: 
Heather <>

to me

Thank you for sharing your heart with me.  I wish I was in the states so I could talk to you via phone.

I do however consider his adoption high risk now after meeting with his bio family. What a mess they all are!!! They basically don't care about him and  don't want him to be happy or adopted--- it's honestly the saddest thing I have heard! His whole family admits to neglecting and abusing him but seriously doesn't  want him to have a chance at life. His family is extremely dysfunctional. extremely Uneducated and drug users. I am seeing if I can get abandonment papers on him since he was truly abandoned.

I will keep you posted. God is sovereign.

I know God is in control.

His family at one time signed off on him and agreed to adoption. Now they went before the judge and IBESR and changed their mind.

I will fight as if he is my own.

Love ya
Sent from my iPhone

Just two weeks later we received this communication via email:

Heather <>

to meTimMichelle

With great sadness and a heavy heart I write this.
I wish their could have been a different outcome.
There is no pretty way to say this ...
So I am just going to be blunt and honest.


[W] was officially marked as UN adoptable by IBESR about an hour ago.

We feel as if we all just had a miscarriage and we are grieving deeply.

We were told in the beginning that he was 100% available for adoption. We would of never agreed to this adoption if we would have known the outcome. We are deeply sorry. We know how much you adored this precious gift from God.

I was 90% sure as of last week that it would all work out... I never in a million years saw this coming.

W was one of our original 12 children.... So we are all hurting over the fact he is going to have to live at the Creche possibly until we can pay for his college etc etc. figure out a solution for him and all our other future leaders of Haiti.

We know that this email is going to be quite a shock and pray that you can extend us all grace. This was completely out of our control and please know we fought to change this outcome.

We love you.


Heather and Michelle

Sent from my iPhone

Heather Elyse, Tim Rowe, and missionaries at Giving Hope Rescue mission are defending their organization and stating that all of the children in care at GHRM are adoptable. This was not the case for W. His parents never wanted him to be adopted. 

On May 7, 2013, 11 months after we found out that W was unadoptable and Heather said he'd need to live at the creche forever due to parental abuse, an email was sent to the staff of VOTO outlining which kids were in care and which had been sent home to their local families. Below is an excerpt from that email. 

On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM, Heather Elyse <> wrote:
Greetings from Haiti!!!
I just spent most of the day with Wesmin, R V, S, J, and S (staff members). We went through both creche's and assessed everything. We also personally talked about each child and so I wanted to send my report to you all.
Currently in the MAIN creche we have the one house where the kitchen is attached used for missionary housing and the school. e are still utilizing the storage room for all the creche needs.
We currently have 49 children in the main creche.
The NEW creche which we all call our "underground creche" because we don't allow anyone to visit it and IBESR doesn't even know about it!!!!!!!!! We have 38 babies here.
So here are the final totals of where all our GIVING HOPE RESCUE MISSION children are:
49-Main Creche 38-Underground Creche 18-Elyse Foster Care Home 12-J Foster Care Home 6-V personal Home 3-***** Foster Home 3- Altagrace Foster Home 2- A W Foster Home 5- Cabaret Baptist Home 3- Annie Bon Samaritan Orphanage 2-Orphanage in Cap Haitian (Warren Girls) 4-W Orphanage 4-M/C 16-Cap Haitian Justice Rescue Project
A GRAND TOTAL OF: 165 children!!!!
We have a HUGE WAITING LIST of children that are sitting in hospitals abandoned, but we just don't have any room currently. Our numbers have dropped drastically due to the fact I gave several children back to relatives that could care for them.... I of course made sure the relatives were legit.
Those who are no longer with us: D W**** C N S J M C

*Names removed for privacy*

This was a disturbing contradiction to what Heather had told our family about "W's" family and ability to return home. Either Heather was lying about his family life or she returned him to incredibly abusive parents. You be the judge after you read the next part of this story....the beautiful ending to a very ugly beginning.... 


W is now at home with his parents and he is thriving. He was never relinquished legally and his parents never wanted to place him for adoption (according to investigators we sent to find him.) He was originally taken to an orphanage next to Giving Hope Rescue Mission to be treated for parasites and to receive health care. "W" was then taken to GHRM by a family member and wasn't returned to his parents. His father felt that he was receiving good care at GHRM, so he allowed them to care for him short term. Heather began to ask them for W's birth certificate, which the family refused to turn over. His family is poor, but they never wanted their son to leave Haiti. 

The beautiful part of this story is that our family is still a part of his life and we now get to see him grow and flourish with parents who care for him. We are sponsoring W to go to school. God has allowed us to see this little boy home, happy, and with his FAMILY. He is going to receive an education and hopefully break the cycle of poverty in his family. 

With their permission, I am posting these pictures. 

W is doing great and we share this story as encouragement to any adoptive family who have been given horror stories of their adopted child's history by Heather Elyse. We propose it is time to search for more information on each child....

Kim and Jeremy