When I think of how The Potter’s Family started, I see the faces of the children who showed us the need. Jezila. Suzenaika. Jimmy. Kiki. Some of these faces are no longer with us, but I pray that their legacy lives on through this program.
I met Kiki and his twin, Lele when they were 18 months old and immediately fell in love with them. They were severely malnourished. I helped advocate for them to be accepted into a local hospital that had an inpatient malnutrition clinic. I went to see them nearly every day. Their mother and I did everything the doctors told us to. We bought every medicine, did every test, bought the special food. The twins responded well and were looking much better. The doctor released them from the hospital, but they were monitored every day as they came in for their special peanut butter formulated for kids fighting malnutrition. Six weeks after they were released from the hospital, Kiki unexpectedly died. He got the help he needed too late. His little body was too weak to keep fighting.
I really struggled when Kiki died. I spent many hours questioning God. Why would He take this beautiful child that had so much life ahead of him? Why would He leave Lele behind without his twin? Why couldn’t He have sent the twins for help earlier? I learned a lot from Kiki and his death. God showed me that while His compassion is not always obvious, it is always there. He taught me to look for that compassion even when I do not immediately see it. God compassionately took Kiki out of this world and to a place where he will never hunger, never thirst, or be in pain again. He rescued Kiki in a way no one else could.
I also learned that twins are at higher risk for malnutrition in Haiti. When she had the boys, Kiki’s mother was malnourished herself. She was not able to produce enough breast milk to sustain both boys. The boys were malnourished from the time they were babies.
While The Potter’s Family was created for babies who have lost their mothers, I knew from the beginning we would also accept twins who needed extra nutrition. In May of 2019, Abymaelle and Abdias joined our program. They were six months old and weighed 10.8 and 9.4 pounds. They were weak and couldn’t even hold their heads up. Their mom was breastfeeding them as much as she could and giving them other food to try to help but said the twins were getting smaller instead of growing. We started giving them supplemental formula, and now the boys are two and thriving! They love going with their dad to evangelize in the neighborhood!
Earlier this month, we added a set of twin girls to the program: Ludstella and Ludstelly. They are two and a half months old. Their mother is not able to produce enough breast milk for both of them and cannot afford to purchase formula for them. She will continue breast feeding as much as possible, but the twins will also receive small amounts of formula to supplement the breast milk.
A few days later, the two aspects of our program collided – twins who lost their mom in childbirth.
On November 12th, a lady went into childbirth at her home in the mountains. She delivered beautiful twin boys: Woodensky and Leyensky. After delivering the second boy, everyone knew something was not right. The family started carrying her down the mountain to try to get the nearest hospital. She died before they made it to the hospital.
Their aunt has taken in the boys for the time being. We will provide formula and medical care for them. Paul has been visiting them most days – trying to offer a little bit of comfort during such a dark time. They have had their lives turned upside down, but they have two babies to keep fighting for.
The stories of the families in our program shatter my heart. Even though I am not physically there with them, I feel their hurt. There is so much loss and pain. I know we cannot take that pain from them, but my prayer is that we can come alongside them and shoulder some of their burden for them.
How to help
Four new babies within days of each other is a lot for our program, but we know God put them in our path for a reason. We will be sending barrels of formula to Haiti soon. If you are able to give a couple containers of powdered formula, it would be such a blessing for these families (and a weight off my and Paul’s shoulders!). Sams Club/Costco tend to have the best prices, but any type of powdered formula works. Formula can be sent to (or dropped off at) my parent’s house. If you need the address, let me know. I have also added a link for our amazon wish list. Paul has helped pick out some things the program could really use and you can even purchase formula on amazon! You can click the amazon button below to check it out.
Thank you for all of your support. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I love seeing the village behind these children come from all around the world.
In loving memory of Kiki