Tracing Families

An excerp from Haiti Mama Founder, Tausha Pearson's journal: August, 2014. 

We have now met with all of the parents and families of these street kids and given contact information so they can call us when they need us. The plan is for the kids we are working with to go home at night. That's the goal we're starting with.

The good thing is two parents called us to tell us their boys didn't go home. 

So, tonight I went down the mountain to see if I could tuck a couple of boys into bed with their mamas if we offered side by side support to go home at the end of the night. In a sea of noir, those boys can find their blanc in less than a minute. Every time I pull up, I am circled by happy, dirty little boys within 30 seconds. Linderson attaches himself to me in a hug, and I rub his back and talk to them all. 

So, my Social Workers and I decided the two boys we were going to bring home and tuck into bed were Baby and J-Mac. They are the youngest, and in our minds there was just no excuse for them to be sleeping under tap-taps when they could be at home in bed with their families.

J-Mac almost bailed out 100 times. His Social Worker, Gregory negotiated with him the whole way. J-Mac had us up to 50 goudes to and we were willing to pay it. When we first met J-Mac he told us his mother was dead. When we met his family, he brought us to his aunts. But, we later learned his mother was alive. She is desperately poor, mentally ill and hasn't been able to take care of him since the earthquake. 

As I was entering into a shady area of Port au Prince, by foot at night, J Mac took my purse and put it around his neck. 

In the dark I winded through little mountain passages holding J-Mac's hand. Where he lead us stopped feeling residential and became earthquake rubble. Down broken stairs, wires and rocks I climbed. We entered into a small cement cave. Inside the pitch black cave, J-Mac lead us to a closet. Gregory followed him with the flashlight of his cell phone. There was a blanket on the floor of the closet, there was garbage piled against the opposite wall of the cave. Mama J Mac was sleeping in earthquake rubble and trash, she was homeless herself. 

Mama told me it would be better for me to find a place for J Mac to live because she is never going to be able to afford a home. I told her I would come see her in the daylight and we could talk about what is best J-Mac...

What is best for J-Mac? 
My opinion: Seeing his mother rise out of the rubble. 
I can't place him, and leave her. It doesn't make any sense.

Tausha Pearson