Our family was matched with two children in April 2012. We had already been through a failed adoption and were extremely cautious about our next steps. We were told repeatedly that by contracting with this agency, Voice of the Orphan, and crèche, Giving Hope Rescue Mission, that we would get 100% of our money back if anything went wrong. We did our research and everything seemed very positive.
We entered into dispensation within the Haitian adoption process in November 2012. During the next two years we would become close friends with Heather Elyse, making several trips to Haiti as well as meeting her on multiple occasions in the US.
At one point, Heather wanted to place twins on our dossier that were "terminal" and "probably would not make it". Heather stated that she needed to get them to the US. We were told the kids would be ours legally but all guardianship would be given to the agency upon their arrival to the US and they would be taken to the hospital. We were not aware at the time that this type of situation would constitute immigration fraud. This never went any further because Heather said it would draw too much attention to our file.
We were included in a lot of emails and phone calls about the things Heather alleged were going on with the crèche. We were told about Wesmin, the creche director, and Guerdine, GHRM's lawyer, joining forces to blackmail her; she claimed that they were demanding thousands of dollars or they would shred dossiers. We were also told about raids happening at the crèche and even sent audio recordings of people being interviewed about them. Heather was very good at building up a case that supported all of these blatant lies.
We were often told of other "crazy adoptive families" and people whose adoptions she wanted to cancel. She told us that it was easier to cancel a family on the US side of things because she could tell USCIS that the "families had gone rogue". She would also punish families that weren't "waiting well" by not giving them picture updates. Any time a question was asked about a family's adoption, she would tell them to stop trying to take control of the adoption. We knew of times that she would take a van full of kids up the mountains to "hide them from raids", we later learned that what she actually may have been doing was hiding the children from the Haitian authorities.
When people started seeing the red flags and questioning Heather, she told us that they were "crazy adoptive parents" and that she was being persecuted. We stood up for her for a long time and even lost friendships in the meantime. When these stories first began coming out, I was close to Heather and believed her when she said that they were attacks on her because the families couldn't complete their adoptions. Then, people that I knew personally and respected started sharing their stories and we began conversations. After a trip to Haiti in June things just weren't adding up. I started carefully making phone calls to people that I knew that were posting their stories, I was determined to listen and be open to what they were sharing. I started questioning Heather on many of the things I was learning, her answers weren't adding up and it made her furious.
Heather knew that the vulnerable children in her care were adoptive families' weaknesses; she manipulated our love and concern for the children and she preyed upon our faith.
Concerned Families believes that the following text messages between Ms. W and Heather Elyse show Heather's total lack of basic respect for both the Haitian birth families, the Haitian children as well as the adoptive families.
Ms. W never received the receipts that she was requesting, nor did she receive copies.
"We hired the same attorney who helped free GHRM name from all accusations." GHRM is now closed and the children have been removed by IBESR or are home with their birthparents.
Many people have questioned the motive behind the stories written on the blog. If you read the above text message exchange between Ms. W and Heather Elyse you will see that the Haitian children were a commodity to Ms. Elyse. We have answered the call to be a voice for those children. Laying fear aside and declaring the truth without wavering. Not to hurt or destroy anyone, but to stop injustice.
"My whole being will exclaim, Who is like you, Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them." Psalm 35:10
"Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise," says the Lord. "I will protect them from those who malign them." Psalm 12:5
Will you join us in praying for the children that resided at Giving Hope Rescue Mission, for the Haitian families that were taken advantage of because of their poverty, and the adoptive families that are brave enough to speak out?