Sun, Mar 25, 2012
Zaël, our youngest child, turned 4 years old today. He absolutely did not! want a birthday cake this year, and has been announcing that to all of us way ahead of time. The last 2 weeks he has been saying: “mwen vle al benyen nan lamè, ak manje pwason boukanen ak fritaj pou fet mwen”, “I want to go swim in the sea, and eat grilled fish with fried plantains for my birthday”
Of course his wish is our command, and all the other kids were totally into this wish as well, which is no surprise to me. Afternoons at the beach are fun, and we all love grilled fish and plantains.
As a birthday present for Zaël the other kids had made him a cool party hat, some cool glasses and watch to go with that from their creative box materials, “so that everyone at the beach can see who’s birthday it is today!” Of course they sang for him all the way driving out to the beach, and again when we had found our hangout spot at the beach.
We had brought Martin along with us as well, and he had his first taste of the sea today, HE ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Eliane, 1 of our nannies rubbed wet sand all over him with the help of Melinda and Nancy, and he played his little heart out on the beach the whole afternoon, curious of that water coming and going all the time. So great to watch him explore.
As expected, it turned out to be such a great birthday-party-afternoon, the water was nice, the sun was shining, and everybody had a great time. And of-course, to top it all of, that yummy grilled fish and fried plantains with pikliz, a typical spicy Haitian salad.
Just sooooo fantastic and heartwarming for me to see how Zaël was loving it all so much, being the center of attention. He was super proud and super happy, and it showed.
I remember far to well the day his father came knocking on our door, on April 14 2008, crying, totally desperate with Zaël in his arms begging me to take in his newborn son, if not he would have no other choice but to, in his own words, throw him away. Going home with this baby was not an option for him, because he was married and the mother of Zaël, who had died from AIDS a week after giving birth, had just been a girlfriend on the side. Besides that, Zaël himself was also testing HIV+, too much for this man to handle. Seeing Zaël this happy today, turning 4, makes me feel really happy as well that we took him in at the time, despite the fact we already had 12 children and were getting by on a budget for 10.
Immediately we had enrolled Zaël in the aids program called CDV at the local hospital, where he was put on prophylactic medication for his HIV+ status, and when he was 12 months old he started testing negative for the virus. At 18 months, the final test that is conclusive of the status also came back negative. So today Zaël is a very healthy happy boy.
Happy Birthday Zaël!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We all love you so much.