Are They Crazy?

KaLinn Dishion

My sister’s announcement they were considering “sponsoring” 7 Haitians through humanitarian parole was met with uncharacteristic silence on my end. I tried to process.  SEVEN people. What did sponsoring mean? Who were they? Why? At what cost – financially, of course, but mentally and emotionally. I had shared the joys and challenges Gabrielle’s adoption brought into their (and our) lives and knew firsthand at least some of the anguish that comes with loving a child of trauma. Seriously, SEVEN people? Adults? Kids? Health? Gang members? Did they speak English (no)? That and more raced through my mind. Added concerns for my sister’s serious health challenges and I was pretty sure she had lost her mind! I think I told her “Gee, that’s lovely. Let me know how it goes!” I selfishly thought she might “get over” it; just send a donation or something. But given the fact that we live next door to one another and knowing my sister’s determination paired with her faith and generosity, I knew these 7 Haitians would also become part of my life if she could make it happen.

The following months I read the increasing news about the atrocities taking place in Haiti, the violence, corruption, hunger and fear Haitians live with every single day. I gradually got to know these 7 members of Gabrielle’s family through the warm, witty, hopeful, honest and rawly desperate texts between Sherri and 18 year old sister Milhoury. I saw over and over the leap of faith Scott  and Sherri were willing to make, the generosity that was leading their hearts (not so much their heads), and the belief that things will work out even when you don’t know the way.

I thought yet again what a blessed and undeservedly easy life I live simply because of my birthplace. How could I not be completely and unequivocally on board?