Adopting from Haiti is a long, slow, and painful process, and we are always encouraged by stories with happy endings. Over the last year as we have visited Heartline, we got to know Joseph, a teenager with a heartbreaking story. Jafta especially took a liking to Joseph, and followed him around like a puppy dog every time we visited. Joseph was friendly and patient with him, and you would never know that this soft-spoken boy had endured so much. Last week, his adoption was finalized and he got to go home to a forever family. I wanted to share his story:
Joseph left Haiti for his new home in Missouri on Sunday Augusts 10th, 2008. Joseph’s story could have been so much different if not for people that God brought into his life to love and care for him.
Joseph at the age of six was in his two room house when gunmen entered and shot dead his father and mother and a visitor. Several of the children were wounded in the shooting but Joseph escaped without any physical damage. Joseph spent some time staying with family and was then put into an orphanage but returned to his extended family after the orphanage he was in imploded. He eventually found himself in an orphanage run by dear friends Bill and Susette Manassero. There he found a place where he was loved and shown the love of Christ.
God had also brought into Joseph’s life the Rice family from Missouri. This family loved him from afar and supported him to go to school and help with his care. Eventually Robert Rice, who would visit Joseph every several months, spoke to us about wanting to adopt Joseph and Joseph moved into our home as he, we felt, was too old to be in the creche. And so Joseph lived with us for the past two years as we worked on his adoption. He became a part of our lives and he with his winsome personalty ingrained himself into the lives of so many.
It took three going away parties to get the cross section of people together that Joseph had touched. He will be missed; but we are thrilled that we can live here so Joseph can now live with his new family.
I told Joseph to be sure to get Robert to take him to Burger King after they arrived in Miami. Well, we got a call last night and it was from Robert and Joseph. They were in Burger King in the Miami airport as their flight left Haiti two hours late and they missed their next flight. So Joseph’s first meal in the States was a whopper.
Praise God for a new beginning for a young man who with the help of others has overcome tremendous odds.
– Beth McHoul