Monday, September 16, 2013

Witness Story I: Things are not as they seem at Giving Hope Rescue Mission

Note from website administrators

We have been contacted by many people who wish to share their concerns about Heather Elyse and Giving Hope Rescue Mission. These are not currently adopting families but are witnesses to strange and disturbing behavior and circumstances who desire to stand alongside us.

Some of the witnesses have longer stories and some a simple sentence or two.

The over-riding message that this group of witnesses wishes to convey is that the adoptive families are not alone. There is a quite a long list of unconnected extra people who have seen serious red flags regarding Heather Elyse and the way she handles adoptions in Haiti. They have nothing to gain and no emotional investment in adoption whatsoever. No child on the line and no emotional attachments. But they wish to share their experiences and we will honor that here in this space.

We cannot vouch for every word shared. These witnesses are coming forward unconnected to our group and while some of what is shared is experience, other portions are feelings or opinions. That being said, we believe their statements are powerful enough and reliable enough to post to this website.

Witness Story #1 comes from Stephanie:

I have been employed at a licensed child placing agency in the State of Tennessee since August 2005. I have helped many families complete adoptions from countries such as Korea, China, Lithuania, DRCongo, Uganda, Guatemala, Moldova, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Nigeria, Liberia, and Vietnam.  I have always strived to be very careful helping my clients choose a placing agency.  I believe in using an agency or facilitator that has a strong ethical background, as well as a proven history of placing children.  After my experience with Giving Hope Rescue Mission (GHRM) and Voice of the Orphan (VOTO), I will be even more cautious and hesitant when my clients decide to use an agency I have never heard of.  I will do more research on their behalf and I will never take a new agency at face value. Most importantly, I will listen to my gut when I see or hear things that send up red flags.

My history with GHRM and VOTO began in the spring of 2012, when clients of mine, Jeremy and Kimberly, decided to use the crèche and its partner agency to adopt a child or children from Haiti.  My concerns about their choice began immediately, because I had never heard of them.  

Kim described to me their referral process, which was unlike any I had ever encountered previously.  She said that once their adoption dossier was completed, they would fly to Haiti and be presented with children to consider/choose from... In April 2012, they flew to Haiti and Heather Elyse, founder of Giving Hope Rescue Mission and Vice President of VOTO showed them two children, "R" (a girl) and "W" (a boy) who they agreed to adopt.  

I asked Kim what type of referral paperwork on the children they received, and she said she saw no paperwork, only the children themselves, with very limited story about how they came to the crèche.  This was a major red flag to me.  I had never heard of an “agency” showing actual children or letting adoptive parents choose a child in person. Also offering no social history paperwork, no medical paperwork, no official relinquishment paperwork, nor birth certificate proving that the child/ren was available for adoption.  Kim assured me that this was just the way that Haiti and Giving Hope Rescue Mission did things (per Heather Elyse), though it never settled well with me. 

Admittedly, this was my first Haitian case, and looking back, I should have done much more research and asked many more questions.  A while after their return from Haiti, Heather told the family that "W" (the boy) was unadoptable and his birth parents were not going to allow the adoption.  Again, I saw red flags waving, because Heather should have already had his birth parents’ relinquishment in writing before making a “referral” and should have never introduced "W" to an adoptive family! Additionally she should never have allowed Kim and Jeremy to be paying monthly support for "W" if he was going to be unadoptable. 

It is standard procedure in any adoption not to refer a child who is not legally free for adoption and this situation concerned me greatly.

Kim and Jeremy assured me that they felt that this was a good organization still and I should consider adopting a child from Haiti too. I began advocating a bit for families to adopt from Giving Hope Rescue Mission because of these reassurances and Heather added me to the private Voice of the Orphan Adoptive families facebook group that she ran. During the time I was on the group I was able to see how Heather informed her clients of the progress of their cases, how clients received referrals, and how clients received updates.  

In seven years of working in adoption – and prior to that, completing my own Chinese adoption, I had never seen anything like the way Heather operated.  Everyone was informed about everyone’s case at the same time on this page without any confidentiality.  And when someone received a “referral”, it was posted as a picture on the private VOTO facebook page before the referral was privately presented to the prospective adoptive parents!  

Every international referral I have ever encountered contains social, medical and legal paperwork on a child and is delivered directly and only to a prospective adoptive family to be reviewed by an international doctor before a referral is accepted.  

Kim began talking about going to Haiti on a mission trip to support Giving Hope Rescue Mission. Mission teams were invited to come and perform acts of service for the creche and children. Kim invited me to participate. At first, I had reservations about going because it meant giving a lot of money ($2,500 for food and water for the team) which I felt hesitant about at the time.  But, Kim convinced me and I finally said yes, as did 10 other ladies.  I told myself I was going for the children.

During the time I was advocating for Giving Hope and still on the VOTO private page, two of our clients decided to sign with them as well.  The "S" family and the "W" family.  I was the worker for the S family and my colleague Cindy worked with the W family.  

Communication with VOTO/Heather was impossible for the S family and for my co-worker, as emails were never returned. 

Additionally, Heather shared private and confidential information from the S family's homestudy with Kimberly. Heather told Kimberly that the S’s did not make enough money to care for a sibling group of 4, and yet still referred the family three children. Kim and I both found it odd that Heather would talk about other families' confidential income information but Kim and Heather had grown close so she did not dwell on it. 

The S family's “referral process” waved another huge red flag for me. It was a phone call with Heather, during which she told them their children’s stories.  Again, there was no paperwork, and photos were shared on the Facebook page with a group by Heather.  

Strangely at one point during the process, the children matched with the S family mysteriously vanished from the crèche, and the S’s only found out about it through a brief email from Heather telling them to pray, as well as a post on the VOTO private Facebook page.  

When the children were “found”, it was posted on the VOTO private page for everyone else to see, and this is how the S’s found out that they were safe. The days that the children were not at the creche and they were hoping for some kind of information, the S family were a nervous wreck.  They were scared, they were concerned and they were in the dark about what had happened and why.  

The drama played out on facebook instead of in confidential emails or phone calls. To this day they have no concrete idea what was going on or how the children were brought back to the creche except that it had something to do with the birthparents removing the children and Heather "rescuing" them back.

This is why agencies MUST have trained social workers on staff – to properly work with families in a crisis, to know how to counsel families through hard issues, and to have the social work ethics knowledge which states, “Do no harm”. This family went through hell with this situation and the lack of follow up.

On November 4th 2012, our mission team flew to Haiti, and on the morning of the 5th, Heather greeted us at the guesthouse/mission we were staying at near Giving Hope Rescue Mission.

She introduced herself with a long speech about who she is and how she came to Haiti.  In this introduction Heather said that orphanages (crèches) are not happy places, they are depressing and she doesn’t even like to go there to her own creche, Giving Hope Rescue Mission.  

She called Haiti a “God forsaken place”.  

She said that they (Giving Hope Rescue Mission and VOTO) had a “media” policy – we could take pictures, but we could not post them anywhere. I thought this was for the childrens' benefit. But actually she explained that every photo had to be sent to her or Michelle See so they could choose what adoptive parents could see. She said this was because her “crazy adoptive parents” would freak out if they saw the children in less than ideal conditions. She said to just “help her out” so that she wouldn’t have a bunch of explaining to do to adoptive parents.  

The ladies on the team and I had brought 12 suitcases filled with medicine, clothes, baby powder, vitamins, toys, diapers, and ointments.  We were told that they were always lacking in these areas and needed supplies.  Each of us spent hundreds of dollars to accommodate the crèche and help the children. Gladly!  We also spent $2500 as a group for the privilege of coming to the crèche – which included just water and lunch for the four days we were going to serve there.  

When we unloaded our 12 suitcases at the crèche, we were a little astounded to see that there were two rooms filled with supplies already.  One entire room was devoted to clothes – it was a closet.  Another room was like a huge medicine cabinet and diaper bin.  I do not begrudge giving supplies to orphans or orphanages, but I have to admit, I felt like we were being taken advantage of.  They did not appear to need anything, and in fact, I worried that there were expired medicines and other supplies sitting in the heat because there were so many not being used.  

We went to the Giving Hope Rescue Mission baby house first (the baby house is on the right of the compound, connected by walls with an empty compound and then on the far left is the house for the toddlers and older kids.)  

It was as Heather described - kind of depressing, babies sleeping two to three in a crib, flies flying around, babies with dirty diapers lying in the cribs.  But, this is also what I expected an orphanage “crèche” to be like.  It came as no surprise to me, as this is what I teach families to expect when they adopt a child internationally.  

In the baby house there were two nannies and a missionary.  The missionary was holding a young baby and the nannies were sitting down while all the babies were in their cribs.  Some were napping and some were not.  I saw a little boy "W" who I had loved in pictures who had some special medical needs sleeping and his diaper was so full of diarrhea, it was overflowing onto his sheet.  I changed him, and his sheet, and he woke up, reached for me and clung.  He would not let me go.  All the babies were that way.  

If we picked them up, they did not want to be put down.  They would cry hysterically, cling on to us and beg to be picked back up.  It was heart wrenching. 

However, Heather Elyse had always advertised Giving Hope Rescue Mission as a "boutique" creche. Her social media was filled with photos of children dressed beautifully and babies being held.

This simply was not the reality we encountered in November 2012.

The creche was depressing, the children lived in cribs, and there were not enough staff in my opinion.

In December after returning home I wrote a Facebook “note” and posted it on my private wall about the experience, only after getting permission from Kim and the woman who was in process to adopt little boy "W" to use their names and photos.  

In the post I said nothing negative about Giving Hope or Heather Elyse specifically, but Kim and I received the following emails from Heather telling me to take down my post from my facebook page. Kim called me hysterical begging me to take down the post because Heather might cancel her adoption, and she didn’t want Heather mad at her. I felt sad that Kim was so scared of Heather.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 6:47 PM
Subject: Favor
To: Kimberly Williams <>
Cc: Michelle <>, Tim Rowe <>

I need Stephanie Williams to take off her super inappropriate post immediately ! Thx.


Getting way too many complaints.

No media allowed  - especially those that paint us in a negative light!

Sent from my iPhone
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 6:58 PM
Subject: Your team
To: Kimberly Williams <>
Cc: RFG <>, Michelle See <>

Can not make postings w/ out approval from us. All pics/ blogs- need to be ran through us for approval.

Anna or Michelle will send you our media policy.

If some adoptive parents read her post they would die...

I know I about did! ;) I about fell over. So disrespectful. I was so shocked.

Sorry for the short emails- beyond busy in Haiti.

... And my emails are blowing up from not so happy leadership.


Sent from my iPhone

Email from Heather to me:


I am not sure why you decided to post the following:

(this was my facebook post/note for my friends and family): My entire life, I wanted to go on a mission trip.  I wanted my life to count. I wanted to show God’s love to people who did not have access to church, Bibles, and abundance like we have in America.  I guess I thought that leaving my time zone would somehow make me more valuable to God.

So, when the opportunity came for me to go on a mission trip to an orphanage in Haiti (actually called a creche), I jumped at the chance.  The trip was the brainchild of (Kim) an HSC client who is adopting a little girl from the creche, Giving Hope Haiti Rescue Mission.  She led our group of twelve ladies, which also included our Executive Director (Denise) and Center co-worker (Sue).

We left on Sunday, November 4 at 3AM.  Some of us had little or no sleep, but we were all energized by the journey ahead of us.  Some of us knew each other well, and some knew hardly no one, but we were amazed by how cohesive the group was – as travelers and soon to find out as roommates. 

Twelve hours later, we arrived in Port au Prince, Haiti. 

We knew that our accomodations, L C, a mission that runs a sponsorship program, school, and medical clinic, would be somewhat primitive, though we also thought that we would have more rooms to share.  Nine of us slept in one large room with one bathroom, and three in the other room.  It was about 90 degrees and humid, and the only source for cool air was a small ceiling fan on the lowest possible speed.  The electricity went out at ten every night.  There was no hot water for showers, and we could not use the tap water for drinking or brushing our teeth.  Finally, we could not place toilet paper in the toilet, but in the waste basket beside it. As rustic as this sounds, it never caused a problem and no one grumbled at the inconvenience.  (Actually a cold shower after a long hot day was pretty awesome!)  

Our first day at Giving Hope was filled with awe and wonder at these precious little children who were so desperate for love.  We had been warned that while the small creche works as hard as it can to provide for 140 children, there are things that cannot be controlled, like flies at this open air facility.  The nannies, whom they call Mommies, try as hard as they can to care for the children, but because there are so many, it is impossible for them all to receive one on one love and attention for extended periods of time.  I knew this.  Of course I knew this.  I teach this.  I knew my daughter once lived like this – at least I knew it intellectually.  But it is different to see it, experience it, and be a part of it.  Now I KNOW, with a knowledge that is almost unbearable.  It has taken me this long to process it.

Back in April, Kimberly  was matched with her daughter R.  And as I am prone to do, I looked at pictures of other children there to see if, by chance, there was one that struck a cord with me.  And there was. His name is W.  I asked my husband if he thought we could adopt again, and he said he felt we were too old to start over.  While I tend to agree, there was just something about this precious little boy that captured my heart.  So, on the first day at the creche, when I saw him, my heart skipped a beat.  The ladies and I started the day by going through the baby house surveying any needs the babies had – diapers to be changed, babies to be held, noses to be wiped.  That’s when I saw him.  He was napping and had a dirty diaper.  So I changed him, and swatted away pesky flies, and told him how much God loved him.  When he woke up, he reached for me, and I picked him up.  We immediately became a duo, and I could see why his pictures had drawn me in.  He was even more precious in person.     
Besides loving on babies, we helped the creche in various ways.  We did laundry – by hand outside in wash tubs, gave toddlers communal baths, sang and danced with the preschoolers, did a vacation Bible School for the school aged children, painted the Mommies’ and childrens’ finger and toe nails, made dinner and served the creche missionaries one night, worked at a local school, changed diapers and crib sheets, and fed precious children.
The creche also rescued an 18 day old premature baby girl, and allowed us to care for her at Life Connection while we were there.  A few of our ladies became very attached to her, and were very sad the day we had to say goodbye.  I am sure she will forever be in our prayers.  

 The longer we were there, it became obvious to all of us that the children were love starved.  The condition of orphan is not natural.  It is not God’s original design.  He designed us to be in families, with the love of a mother and a father. He designed us to need one another, to need love, touch, and attention.  These children, along with all children in institutional care, do not have these fundamental elements to grow and thrive. 

They were starved for attention, and if we showed them a moment of attention, they clung to us as though their lives depended on it.  As the week went on, I began to wonder if we were helping or if we were hurting these children by being there.  To set them down, to walk away from them, to show another child attention only led to screaming, sobbing, clinging and tantrums.  Was their trust in others being eroded each time we left for the evening?  

Of course, I did not want to be a contributor to the very thing I know and teach others is so important for the emotional health of their children. 

I also began to think about my own Chinese daughter, and how she was when she first came home.  She acted just like these children.  Love starved.  And my heart ached for her - for not knowing everything she went through her first twelve months.  How many white people came and loved her for a moment just to walk away?  How many times did she scream for consolation, love or attention only to be ignored by passing nannies, too busy to give her time?  How many times did she lay in her own feces as she slept with flies and mosquitos swarming her little body?  How has her first year shaped who she is and I will never know or be able to heal her?  

And I felt guilty.  Guilty for doing this to other children and for being in Haiti, instead of at home with my own children, who God had already entrusted me to care for, righting the wrongs of their pasts.  And I realized: God has already given me a mission field.  My family, first and foremost, and then, my families at Heaven Sent.  

The very best thing I can do for the children of Haiti, or anywhere else, is my job. I thought these thoughts as I hugged and kissed W goodbye for the last time. I tried not to pick him up, and my heart broke.  I walked away from him, and heard him wail, with his arms outstretched, holding a toy we had given him.  Then, in defeat, his arms went to his side, he looked down and cried softly.  It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen, and I wanted to run away, full of guilt for being the cause of his tears.

On this last day there, we went to lunch and swam at the resort where the creche director and missionaries live.  The director brought her children and some terminally ill children who stay with her, one of whom I have known and loved from pictures .  I learned that his HIV has developed into AIDS.  As soon as I saw him, I scooped him up and held him.  He snuggled into my neck and held on to me and I sat rocking him for a long time.  His breathing was labored and wraspy, his nose was running and he had a fever.  But I just poured my love into him, knowing that in his short life, he needs to feel love on earth.  I sang to him and talked to him and prayed for him.  When it was time to go, a missionary placed him in his stroller (pictured here), and he was too sick to cry.  I, however, was again heartbroken.  

Giving a child the love of a mother, only to watch them slip back into being an orphan is against everything in my being.  It was emotionally painful, and I was ready to be home. 

In Haiti, I learned a lot about myself and the ladies I traveled with.  We spent mornings and evenings together in devotion and reading letters from home.  We gave our testimonies, shared our feelings, shed tears, laughed a lot and sweated even more.  God was with us, and we saw and felt Him in mighty ways.  Haiti is both beautiful and desperate.  The poverty and bitter smell of burning leaves and garbage juxtaposed with the lush landscape and majestic ocean is jarring.

But, there is also a richness in lack.  The people in Haiti work from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep – farming plants and animals, washing and hanging laundry by hand, making items to sell at market, cooking food over fires and walking or bicycling where ever they need to go.  They appreciate what they do have and take care of it with pride.  Those who know God, lean on Him in ways we do not know how – because they have to in order to survive.   And they are joyful.  Their lives are simple, and do not carry the stressful hustle and bustle of American life.
I am very thankful for being able to go to Haiti and for everything I experienced and learned.  I am thankful for my time with such wonderful women.  And I praise God for what He showed me while I was there – to serve Him does not mean I have to leave my country. In fact, I went all the way to Haiti to learn I already have a mission field at home.

(Heather's comment):

"I thought you were on the same line of work as me... Adoptions. Surely you can respect privacy and confidentiality.

When you were in Haiti, I made it very clear about media, and the struggle I have w/ adoptive parents etc.

I thought your post was lovely in all aspects, other then you basically are telling adoptive parents that their child is love starved. This is the wrong perspective to focus on. The fact that they are Alive and not dead is a miracle!!!! My adoptive parents do not need to read a depressing post as the one you posted. I thought it was 100% disrespectful to me, especially after I made myself super clear to you and the team.

If this junior high immaturity does not stop.... I will be CC'ng you in a letter to the state. I know TN takes confidentiality very serious.  They are a wonderful state who understands Hague. So I would please ask if you would please call me to discuss this like adults.  I am willing to hear your side and heart on the matter.


I wrote her back, in part:

"Of course as a social worker and adoption worker, I realize the importance of confidentiality, and did not post any names or pictures that I was not given the express permission to use.

Everything I wrote was truth.  Children who are orphans in an institutional setting, no matter what country they are in, do not live in God’s original design, and they are, in fact, love starved.  It is the express responsibility of those of us in the adoption field to properly education adoptive parents on this reality, so that they will have the tools necessary to empower their children when they come home."
Heather never responded to this email.  

But, the next time she posted updated photos of kids, Kim's was not photographed.  I have heard from more than one person now that if an adoptive parent makes Heather mad, she will punish them by not posting photos of their children that month or threaten to cancel their adoptions. 

I found it interesting that the little boy I had held and written about, "W", died not too long after our trip there in November.  Once again, the entire VOTO adoption community was told of his “death” on the VOTO facebook page after his adoptive parents received an email telling them he was dead of unknown causes.   I believe that his disappearance, as well as the disappearance of Heather’s two children whom she claimed were murdered by their birth mother (for which she has told at least 3-4 different stories) needs to be investigated by someone outside of the GHRM/VOTO organizations.

Other concerns:  

While I was in Haiti in November, I noticed that although Heather had urged families to donate a large amount of money the previous summer for a generator for the creche (I believe between $12-15,000 was donated) I had hung clothes out on the roof, had been in the back of the building washing laundry, in the kitchen, and in all the other rooms of the baby house and toddler house. I had not seen a generator.  

I also noticed that there was no actual “Room for Grace”.  All of the rooms were alike. Room for Grace is a sponsorship program (founded by Heather Elyse) where they ask for $300 per month to care for children at Giving Hope Rescue Mission who are not already matched to adoptive families or who are terminally ill. This "room" is supposed to be a specialized program for special needs children.  I did see a terminally ill boy, with hydrocephalous, and AIDS, but if he was in “Room for Grace”, it’s one crib in a hallway. It is also my understanding that a little boy was transferred in the fall of 2012 from another orphanage to "Room for Grace", arriving with special needs but healthy at the time, only to die 48 hours later.

In general it did not feel like the staff to child ratio was acceptable. On one day we witnessed an older nanny trying to bathe 20 toddlers at the same time.

Another time I walked through the school age children’s bunk room and saw the children taking a nap.  A large number of children were sharing beds.

I noticed also that a lot of the children were sick with deep mucus filled coughs, congestion and fever. With all of the medicines in the back, I also noticed that none of the children were receiving any. I did not observe any specialized care for sick children or medical needs children.

On our second day of volunteering our team went to the crèche and it was like a different place.  The children were beautifully dressed – complete with bows and frills.  The nanny staff was doubled and all of the missionaries, who rotated days at Club Indigo – the all inclusive resort where Heather, her children and missionaries lived - and at the crèche, were there.  The orphan aid group Ordinary Hero was coming to look at the crèche, and the staff of Giving Hope Rescue Mission had been told to dress the children nicely.  

There was double the water supply and double the food, as well.  I found the little boy, W, with a fever, congestion and diarrhea wearing sweat pants and a thick heavy t-shirt in 90 degree weather.  So, I went to the baby clothes room and changed him into something cooler, and asked a missionary what they give the babies when they have this congestive fever.  She said she didn’t know.  So, as Heather led Ordinary Hero through the crèche, I asked her what she wanted me to give him, and she said a breathing treatment.  None of the nannies or the missionaries knew how to give this breathing treatment to him. So, I did my best.  I couldn’t help but think, “Adoptive parents pay $300 a month for their babies to be cared for here?  What does their money cover?”

While Ordinary Hero was there, Heather had her own little girl (adopted in the US) stand up and tell the crowd of strangers how she had been abused by her birth parents – made to live in a cage and eat feces, and how Heather had saved her. I could not believe it, as an adoption social worker and as a mother of two adopted children, it seemed to me like Heather was exploiting her child.  But why?  The second day looked like a production designed to impress Ordinary Hero. 

The third day, there was no food or water at the crèche for our team.  We had donated $2500 for food and water, and after two days of water and fruit, there was nothing.  The children were back in diapers, they were back down to two nannies in the baby house for 20-30 or so babies and three nannies at the toddler/school age house.  

Kimberly was worried for our team and sent an email to Michelle See asking what our $2500 had paid for?  She did not get a response, but the fourth day at the crèche, we were told that Heather was going to "treat" us to a lunch that afternoon at Club Indigo resort.  

Earlier in the week, she had told us that she would let us each bring a child from the crèche to the pool as a special treat for them, but then she changed her mind and told us we were going to each be assigned one of her children because she had not had much “one on one time with them lately”.  This lunch also turned out to be an appreciation lunch for the nannies that our $2,500 was apparently covering.  More nannies showed up this afternoon than we had seen all week combined.  At the lunch, Heather did not talk to any of the ladies in our group.  She avoided us.  At one point I overheard a lady walk up to Heather and say something about a woman threatening her for a large amount of money.  Heather said she was threatened all the time and it wouldn’t be the first time.

On Friday we left Haiti.  I left with a hollow, sad feeling, as though something was not right with Giving Hope Rescue Mission. Our group felt this way.

When I returned home, I heard from an adoptive mother, who wishes to remain anonymous. She told me that she speaks with five other Giving Hope Rescue Mission adoptive moms and what they do is “keep their heads low and do what they are told so that their children are not taken away from them.”  

I told the two families whose homestudies we were processing at our agency that I wanted them to pray and also to look at how other agencies run their Haitian programs before they proceeded with adopting through Giving Hope Rescue Mission.  I told them to compare the referral process, the update process, the contracts, and the time frame – as well as to look at the number of children they have actually brought home.  They did, and each pulled out of the program.       

It is my strong opinion that things are not as they are purported to be at Giving Hope Rescue Mission creche.  I feel that there is an enormous amount of control, manipulation, intimidation and fear that is brandished over Heather's clients despite her claims of operating as a Christian. 

I feel that there is no accountability – no state license for Voice of the Orphan (until June 2013) and a lack of social work background for the staff to ensure that clients are being worked with ethically, with support and with the correct amount of checks and balances.  

It’s Heather Elyse, fear and intimidation, and no one is allowed to question her, say or show anything negative about her or ask for what they rightfully and legally deserve to receive.  It is wrong.  I believe that there has been no accountability about children dying and disappearing. 

I believe in justice for orphans, the poor and the oppressed.  If I do not stand up and share this experience then I am complicit in the wrongdoing against these children and families.  Sometimes God asks us to do hard things for others.  I have seen and experienced the fear, intimidation and manipulation, both personally and through my clients.  I know there are other children and families who are still held captive by it, and it cannot continue.  So, I’ll speak for them too.  God is my fortress and my protector.