The Heartbreak and Beauty of Adoption: Wideleine’s Story
At Noonday, we have a passion for adoption. Through Adoption Trunk Shows, we help adopting families fund their adoption costs to help them bring children with no support systems home to their forever families. We love those beautiful moments when a child realizes that they have a family for life—that they will never again be all alone.
But adoption, we recognize, is not just a thing of beauty and restoration. It is also the result of a tragedy. Around the world, mothers are faced with the devastating decision to leave their children at orphanages or with other community members simply because they do not have the means to care for them.
We believe this is a decision that no parent should have to make. That’s why we focus on building strong families through sustainable job creation. When moms and dads have fair and dignified work they can count on, they are able to keep their families together—and raise strong, healthy, and happy children.
Wideleine’s story is one that eloquently paints the picture of both the beauty and heartbreak of adoption. Wideleine is an Artisan with our Partner Business in Haiti. The business’ owners describe her as an integral part of the team—and a beloved member of their workshop family. Today, Wideleine’s life is a picture of empowerment and restoration. But she has fought some hard battles to get there.
Over a decade ago, Wideleine found herself without a source of reliable income. She was a single mom with a newborn baby girl, and she simply could not earn enough to care for her baby on her own. She didn’t know how she would be able to feed her new daughter, send her to school, or ensure she received medical treatment when she needed it–things so many of us take for granted. Because of this reality, Wideleine decided to place her daughter in an orphanage, where she was adopted by a family living in the US.
Fast forward a decade later, and today Wideleine is an assistant manager at the workshop where our beautiful Haitian styles are made. She still carries the pain of the past with her—but because of her work, she is no longer powerless. Today she has options.
The family who adopted Wideleine’s daughter has worked to help their daughter develop a healthy understanding of her adoption and birth family. Through the Artisan workshop where Wideleine works, the family has been able to maintain contact with Wideleine and get updates on her life. They even hope to bring their daughter back to Haiti one day to reconnect with her birth mother in person. The leader of the workshop, Chandler, explained “Adoption is terribly painful and hard and messy and personal… but sometimes becomes a beautiful story of redemption, connection, and overcoming. This is the case with Wideleine. It is especially close to our hearts as she is a leader within our workshop and we are the median between the adoptive mother and Wideleine.”
Today Wideleine has two young sons, both of whom have sickle cell anemia. Her youngest suffered a stroke when he was only six months old, and as a result the right side of his body doesn’t operate well. But everyone in the workshop knows that what defines this sweet boy isn’t his health—it’s his joy-filled and unstoppable grin. Chandler describes him as “the sunshine of the workshop.”
She goes on to explain how orders from Noonday have impacted Wideleine directly. “Through the work Noonday has been able to give us, we have been able to give Wideleine financial stability and be able to provide her two sons with opportunities in life they could not have had otherwise,” she said.
Wideleine’s involvement in the workshop goes beyond her work as an Artisan–the business has become a safe haven. Recently, the home where Wideleine was living with her sons burned to the ground in a house fire, and she lost everything. But through the workshop’s Women’s Emergency Support Fund, she received a loan that enabled her to start fresh. Wideleine and a friend from the workshop named Yvetta were able to use the loan to purchase a plot of land that they share together, each with her own cozy home and nourishing garden. The women watch each other’s children and enjoy life together–and they are thrilled to say that because of their work, all of their children are now in school!
“Wideleine jumped out of her chair when we showed her the back cover of our Spring 2017 Lookbook featuring her and her son! Today she is able to preserve her family through a job she once did not have. Your purchases matter.” – Jessica Honegger
Women like Wideleine are why we do what we do at Noonday Collection. We are out to help children who have been orphaned find forever families — but at the same time we are committed to ensuring that children who have families who love them never have to leave those families because of poverty.
Your Noonday purchases are doing this for the Artisan families we partner with. Because of you, mamas like Wideleine are no longer being faced with the devastating decision to place their children in orphanages because they cannot care for them. Together we are building a flourishing world where children are cherished and women are empowered to care for their families.
Shop the Wideleine Earrings, handmade in Haiti
Meet Jenna Tanner
Jenna is Noonday’s Content Curator and loves to write about fair trade, social justice and Artisans around the world. She also enjoys marathoning her favorite TV shows with her husband, playing intense games of Ticket to Ride, and searching for the best tacos in Austin (let her know if you find them!).