Saturday, 26 March 2011

Family ties

Sometimes, even at the Happy House, there is the sorrow of partings.
At Friday Kids' Club, usually so upbeat, the family , all together, were told the news that Joash, Mark, Nicholas,  Franco, Rosalind and Mary would be leaving next week, to start the process of being reunited with their birth relatives.
Uncle Billy and Mama Sue explained the reason why the rescue children, now looked upon as brothers and sisters by the kids, now had to leave. Reassuring them that they could stay in touch and promising that they would all be a part of Happy House family forever and always welcome back, but how it was now the right thing for these six children to go back to their homes.
Joash, Mark, Nicholas, Franco, Rosalind and Mary were the Stars of Week for playing such a big part in the Happy House family life.
Everyone at Kids' Club, children and adults, were quiet and sad. Some of the kids saying how much they would miss the others.
Then there news of more change - that baby Joseph was leaving us too.   Little Joe's mum died shortly after giving birth to him. She had fallen into a coma during labour and never regained consciousness - not even long enough to see see her newborn son.
Her husband, Julius, was devastated by her death and, with older children to care for, and no relatives nearby, was unable to cope with his baby son. He turned to the Happy House for help.
Now, weeks later, he is on the road to recovery, coming to terms with his grief, and his sister has moved to be close to him so that she can help look after all the children.
Although he lives many miles away, Julius has visited Joe regularly and loves him very much. It is right that he should have his lastborn son home now that he can care for him properly. Right for the family and right for Joe. The Happy House played its part by bridging a gap in a time of great need.
Julius and sister Esther came for Joseph yesterday.  Sue, too emotional to see her baby go, went home early. I stayed with Billy to wait for them to arrive.  Once the paperwork was done, and Joe ready to go the kids gathered to say goodbye - singing him a farewell song.  
All the adults were fighting back tears, specially Uncle Billy and mum Monica who loves all the babies as if they were her own.
Julius told me how thankful he was for all the Happy House had done for him. "Without it I would have been in such a bad place," he said.
Leaving us with his babe in arms, the kids waving, his final words were: ''God bless this Happy House".