Thursday, May 18, 2017

Secret Babies

When I think of a secret, I tend to think of something a friend might have told me to keep to myself for a short time, or maybe a fun little plan Troy and I have made to surprise one of our kids.  

Secrets are not easy for me, even when they are super light and easy. Whenever I am carrying a big secret, I am half insane and I walk around feeling dishonest for knowing something other people don't know.  I actually need a counselor to talk to if I am going to be holding big insane off-the-wall secrets.  

I was not made for that stuff. 

Truthfully, I would rather you never tell me something that I am supposed to hold by myself and not speak to anyone else about.  

I'm bad at it. 

You don't want to have to spend all your time making your plans to end my breathing in and out for the breaking your confidence, so just don't tell me anything unless I am allowed to at least tell Troy-Boy. 

Secrets are a thing in Haitian culture.  
It causes me to hyper-ventilate thinking about the secrets people carry here.

Right now, the precious 14 year old Sarah I have written about, the Momma of chunky Sophia has a cray-cray secret. Sarah's Dad has no idea she had a baby in January.   

Last June she was living with her Dad for a time and going to school near his house. She saw him daily during the week.  Her Mom would see her on the weekends.  When she was raped and became pregnant as a result of the rape, she stopped visiting her Dad. Once she started to show and her belly grew round her Mom just changed up the plan and she stopped living with her Dad.

When I asked, Sarah said, "No, he's not suspicious." They talk on the phone almost daily.   

Since June of 2016 Sarah has not seen her Dad and her Dad has no idea that she grew another entire life in her womb and gave birth to it on January 14 of this year.  He has no idea she was assaulted.  I keep asking, "So does he know yet about Sophia?"   I get the same response every time.  The literal translation of what she says is,  "No. He does not yet know." 

Last month Jenny had a baby.  While she was in postpartum care her Dad flew into Haiti from wherever he was in the USA.  She got all nervy and strange and distant. The Midwives couldn't understand what her deal was.  Apparently she needed to be picking him up from the airport and visiting him while ALSO hiding her four day old baby and she was stressing out about it all.

I asked Sarah, "So why can't your Dad know?" 

She said, "He will be angry."

I said, "But you were raped and you are not to blame. You are the brave one."

Sarah said, "He won't think that." 

I always find this a fascinating thing.  What is the end game? Can a human being remain a secret their entire life?  What good does hiding a baby do now if you hope to always have that baby/person in your life?

These are the questions I ask, sometimes until it is entirely unclear who is the most frustrated, me or the person I am asking.