If you have missed any of our previous blogs, I would encourage you to go back and read about each of our kids. I will link back to the previous 3 posts, and you can use these links to go back to the very beginning if you would like…Woodlerxe, Fedeline, Mvinsley.
Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Malayika. There are some kids that stick out immediately and others that you have to work to get to know…Malayika sticks out immediately. In fact, if you have been down to Haiti with us in the past, there is a good possibility that you remember Malayika, she just has that type of personality. She is precocious, cute, very confident, and extremely intelligent. In fact, Malayika and Son Son do better than any of the other kids in school. Even before we got tutors for Malayika, she was 4th in her class living in an environment that definitely was not suited for studying. She is also a natural leader. One of our favorite things to watch with Malayika is when she gets up in front of people to sing either at church or at the orphanage just for fun. If you remember, she is very confident and she loves to sing! Anyway, most of the time when she sings like that in front of people, she does it in a group which almost always includes Gladine and Fedeline as well. Every time she sings like this, no matter who is in her group, she is always clearly the leader. She sings the solos, she puts people in their proper place, and she is the one who starts and stops the song. If you cannot tell, Malayika has a ton of potential and has the opportunity to do great things in her life. From time-to-time we have to reign Malayika in. She can get a little bossy and she tries to take control in every situation even when it is not her place to do so. It is the same with anyone, our biggest strengths can also be our biggest weaknesses. But we believe that GOD has huge plans for this beautiful young girl and has given her tools that not everyone possesses to accomplish these plans.
Malayika has a brother who also lives with us, his name is Maekin. We have never met anyone else in her family, and we have been told that her Dad is no longer in the picture (whatever that means). We have been told that her Mom is still alive and lives up north, but we have never spoken to her or seen her. In fact, the only thing we know about her is that she said she would be coming to Malayika’s Kindergarten graduation (a huge deal in Haiti) but she did not show up. Malayika used to tell us all of the time that her Mom would be coming on this day or that day, but she never showed up. She has since stopped even mentioning anyone in her family, and we have little to no hope that we will ever meet her. Another interesting thing about Malayika is that she spent the first part of her life in the Dominican Republic. We are not sure how long, but everyone who knows her told us that she moved back to Haiti a few years ago and that her Mom used to live close by to the old orphanage. While we do not know really anything about her family, we do know that both Malayika and Maekin are sweet and very smart children.
If you couldn’t tell from the rest of this blog, Malayika is a very special young girl, and she has changed so much since she left the old orphanage. Where our children used to live, the younger and cuter a child was, the more they were front-and-center when teams of Americans came. We believe that Malayika was taught to always be front-and-center when other adults came to the orphanage because of her intelligence and personality. Since we have moved, she has mellowed a little, and she does not feel like she has to be as loud and “in-your-face” as she used to be. In addition to being placed at the center of attention in the old place, it is almost like she was just begging for attention and whenever teams came she sought it out more than other children. On the other hand, at Hope Rising, she gets attention every single day of her life. She is loved and cared for in a way that she has never known before and she gets to be herself. That’s one of the greatest things about seeing each of our kids in a warm and loving environment…They get to be themselves without worrying about things like where their next meal will come from, who will take care of them, what will happen if they need help with their homework, etc. Malayika is special and has all of the potential in the world, and now she can be who she was created to be…Herself.
Please continue to pray that GOD would use Malayika and that she would continue to fall in love with Him and continue to feel safe in her new environment. Malayika no longer begs for attention, and she is certainly no longer asked to act differently when groups come to visit. She is simply herself and it has been wonderful to get to know her for who she really is!