Our Program is for RoseMarie

With a smile like this, it is tempting to believe that life is happy and easy for Rose Marie. She is generally cheery despite many challenges. Lately, things have gotten pretty tough. Her smile is not shared nearly as frequently as it was when we first met her.

Rose Marie has faced many obstacles in recent months. Her pregnancy has been precarious and her living situation has become worse than that.

For the last six weeks Rose Marie has been coming each day to eat at the Women's Program house. We started doing this after her blood pressure began to climb. It is not uncommon to take her BP and find it 170/100 and sometimes higher. The goal has been to help her get enough protein in her diet to avoid preeclampsia.

She has faithfully made her way to the house each day to eat boiled eggs and a vitamin fortified rice mixture. She is checked every couple of days for other signs and symptoms. She has been referred to Doctors without Borders, they sent her home until she goes into labor. We're doing everything we know to do ... especially praying.

Rose Marie has two other children that live with her mother in Mirebelais, about two hours north of Port au Prince. In Haitian culture it is very common for children to be raised by relatives and for families to split up. Rose Marie's sisters no longer offer her a place to sleep, there are problems between them that they seem unwilling to work out. Their small houses are already over-crowded.

Rose Marie finds herself without a permanent home and no plan for caring for herself or her baby. Each night she hopes a friend will let her sleep under their roof. Her pregnancy is so high risk that the very few jobs that she might be able to find are dangerous to her health at this time.

This week Rose Marie shared with us that the father of her baby lives in the USA. He was here for a brief visit earlier this year. He might come back to visit again in late December. She is not sure. His sisters don't want him to care for Rose Marie or the baby. They are trying to convince him that this is not his child. They don't want her to move in with them at the house he provides for them.

She went on to tell us that she just wants to "give him the baby", and that if he is not going to help her she won't be able to keep the baby. Her mother has all that she can handle caring for the other two children. This week there was a fight that led to her getting punched in the face. The people holding her belongings threaten to throw them in the street, the friends say she can only stay a few more nights. She is trapped and feels alone.

As she explained the situation further she began to cry. She wants her baby to be born healthy, but she feels uncertain of everything, including her ability to provide for herself or the child due in January.
Rose Marie's situation is especially difficult in that there are not a lot of great options or solutions. Many women end up having their baby without the help of the father, but most are not homeless. Our program exists to love the women and meet them right where they are. We know we cannot provide housing, food and clothing for every woman in need. But we can provide vitamins, education, counseling, encouragement, a listening ear, moral support, a kind word, a hug, some food, some medical care ... and prayers.

Please pray with us for Rose Marie and her unborn baby.

(Written By T.Livesay)

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