A woman I had just met in Haiti this past March, handed me her baby and begged me to keep him. Not just hold him for a minute while she ran an errand or used the bathroom, she literally wanted me to take and keep this brand new little guy (whose name I didn’t even know) and raise him as my own. Why would any mother even consider this? She must be some sort of monster who doesn’t care about anyone but herself!
Except she’s not.
She’s actually just like me. A mom who loves her child fiercely. A mom who would move mountains if it meant helping or providing for that child. A mom who feels helpless when she can’t give the very best, for whatever reason, physical or emotional. She assumed because I was an American that I was probably wealthy and I could provide for her baby far greater than she ever could.
She was right.
I could have taken that baby, adopted him, dressed him in the sweetest outfits, fed him organic formula and baby food, bought the safest car seat, gave him access to the best medical care and education. She was willing to give up raising her own child, to have his most basic needs met, and provide him a better life. That’s a mother’s love. That is what keeps me up at night. She shouldn’t have to feel like giving up her child is the only option to providing for him. IF this young mom was offered a stable job, making a fair wage she could be confident in her ability as opposed to waiting in desperation for the next person to come along that she feels could give him a better life.
When we opened the doors to our Fair trade Boutique, we made a commitment to stand united with woman and children exactly in the same desperate situation I just described. By partnering with artisans around the world, we’re committed to do our part, to sell items that are keeping families together.