James and Lila King adopted siblings from Haiti. Lila traveled from Texas to Haiti for three years before the adoption finalized. She shared this story and I was so touched by not only her tender memory, but her mother-tenderness for a stranger in a tough situation.
The mental image burned in my mind of the laboring mother on a metal and the woman quietly offering support.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Matthew 25:35-36)
…And I was a mother on a metal chair in Haiti, and ye provided support and comfort…
The following are Lila’s thoughts in her own words.
Providing Support and Comfort
This picture was part of Samuel’s adoption paperwork and had obviously been stapled many times.
I’m only sharing this because of a story that involves him at around this time.
Tonight on social media, I saw a picture of a woman in Haiti. She’s laboring, trying to deliver her third child. She’s sitting outside on a metal folding chair, in the dark. Another Haitian woman stands beside her with her arm around her, trying to be of comfort and support.
It made me remember a time I was in Haiti. The adoption process took almost three years, but we were allowed to visit throughout the process. James went with me the first time we met the kids, but after that, I traveled to Haiti by myself every 6 months.
On one of those trips by myself, Samuel became horribly sick. It had been a long day. The kids were asleep and I had been asleep for maybe an hour when Samuel woke up screaming for me. (Mama Blan! Mama Blan! which meant “White Mama!”)
I picked him up and he was hot to the touch. I gave him some medicine and held him, but he just cried.
It was late and I was worried we would wake the other guests staying in the guesthouse, so I carried him outside and sat down in a metal folding chair.
He and I didn’t speak the same language and I was a brand new mom—but only got to spend time with my kids every 6 months. So I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
I rocked Samuel back and forth, enveloped in the darkness of night in a foreign country. Then I quietly started singing a song and he stopped crying.
Right about that time, a Haitian woman who worked at the guesthouse came up, put her arm around me, and stood there providing me comfort and support.
It was a reverent experience, but one I had not thought of in years. Seeing that picture of the Haitian mother in the folding chair, laboring, doing her best with the other woman beside her, comforting her, took me back to my experience.
It served as a reminder that no matter where we are on earth, no matter the language we speak, the color of our skin, political or religious views, we are all more alike than we are different. We’re all doing the best we can in our given circumstances. Prayers for that Haitian woman as she brings a new little life to earth.
Lead image credit: workingmother.com.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.
This is such a touching story. I love the voice and imagery. I felt like I was sitting right next to the mother comforting her adopted child! Love it.
Right?! This made me cry. Thank you for sharing this, Delisa!