Reclaiming Haiti

 

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The weekend of August 5th, 12 Haitian adoptees, mostly strangers, met up in Haiti.

When I started the Haitian Adoptee support group on Facebook two years ago, I had a dream of going back to Haiti with a group of my fellow adoptees.

I wanted to take this trip for several reasons. First, I wanted to challenge the image that is presented in the media about Haiti. For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Haiti are the images that are shown after a natural disaster: crushing poverty, streets lined with rubble, and malnourished children.

And while poverty exists in some form in every country around the world, it has unfortunately become Haiti’s identity.

So I set out to make this trip different. I wanted us to see how beautiful our country was and challenge that narrative that most of us had been told our whole lives.

In our week in Haiti, we walked the streets of Jacmel, hiked waterfalls, visited coffee plantations, swam on private beaches, and stayed in a tree house on top of a mountain.

Most importantly, for the twelve of us who went, we connected with other adoptees, and in a way connected with ourselves.

The stories of those who went belong to them, but I will share that going to Haiti gave me a sense of pride and ownership. Previously I had been to Haiti with my adoptive family, with a missions group, and to meet my birth family.

For me, this trip was so different from all the others because my experience wasn’t tied into any one else’s expectations of me. I was free to be myself in my own country. I felt at peace, and I felt at home.

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If you are a Haitian adoptee, you can join our Facebook group here.

 

 

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