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Dear Mr. Preval:

While I know my letter is long I would ask that you please take the time to read it. I believe it will be worth your time, at least I hope so. I know that you are very busy. Thank you.

What do I say to the new president of Haiti>>I am surprised I can say anything at all. My name is Mary Rutten and I have been coming to Haiti since 2002. I usually come with a medical team and work and serve the people in Hinche and surrounding areas.

I am not sure who benefits more and learns more the people of this community or myself.

I absolutely love being in Hinche and I love the people.

I go back with each chances I get and have made many friends who I stay in contact with by email.

While Haiti is poor and there is extreme proverty there is a richness there in the people that I find no where else. A part of me wants to so much do so much more and not by just giving free handouts by finding out what it is the people in Hinche truly need and then to help them find the means through teaching and training so they can provide for themselves.

You can give a man a fish and what will he have but a fish but if you teach him to fist he can fish to a life time.

See I have this vision in the school and church I have been working with and the pastor there is also trying to find ways to pay his teachers.

I am always wondering how schools get government support in Haiti.

Lavaud Cherestin has started to get some support this year and his school has been recognized as one of finest in Hinche.

His school goes from elementary through technical.

He brought the first computers to Hinche but so much is lacking, ie electrical power to run the school and computers.

We are talking solar power.

What a great project for the young adults to learn.

They could research it and find out all about it and then find out costs and sources and then we could try to bring someone in to teach installation.

We could do this with the school.

This would not only bring solar/electrical power to the school but would also teach a valuable skill in Haiti.

With all that marvalous sunshine you get there think of what it could provide.

I invision much for this school in the way of having goats, chickens and a large working garden to help provide a meal for the children while at school while being taught and managing the animals and garden themselves.

Learning does not always come from a book or in a classroom, while important I feel it is not the only way to learn.

Hands on learning and experiencing and doing raises up people and impowers them to takecare of themselves.

As medical workers and we have seen this in Hinche.

As people have access to clean water disease and illness go down. We have been working with a group called Gift of Water that works out of Dumay and trains Haitians to work with a water filtration system that we use all the time when we are in Hinche.

They are filtration systems for a single household and very inexpensive to use and their benefits are wonderful.

They do have a web sight under "Gift of Water".

I just wanted you to know all of this but what I really want you to know about is our adoption of a little girl from Hinche by the name of Raphaella Germaine who is now in an orphanage in PAP. We have been into this for so long now, it just never looks like it will be over. I met Raphaella on my first trip to Hinche and I know her family.

Her mom is HIV positive her sister Angeline has full blown AIDS and as battled drug resistant TB. She has an older sister Natasha who is 19 or twenty and now has a baby too.
We do much education when we are there on medical trips about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases as we can. Thanks to Paul Farmer and Partners in Health who now have a clinic in Hinche both mom and Angeline are on meds and Angeline as been successfully treated for her MDR TB. Angeline could be the poster child in Haiti for HIV and TB it is because of what God has done and helped provide for her that she is sill alive and a happy little girl despite all that she has gone through.

Mom has asked me to adopt Raphaella since I first met them but it took me a couple years to make that decission as I had problems with removing her from her community and her family.

Angeline and Raphaella were very very close and it hurt me deeply to seperate them and I struggled with that decission.

I would have also adopted Angeline but because of her health problems...

it made it impossible.

Raphaella has endured her own trauma in that she was rapped at age three and when we first met her she had a vaginal infection that was so had she screamed in pain. We were able to treat that but not the tumor like growth she had developed on her pubic area and seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.

I took blood samples and urine samples and had them tested here in the states at Mayo clinic (which they did for free for me) for some sort of sexually transmitted disease.

All tests results came back negative.

Raphaella does not have HIV either.

However we were still dealing with this growth that was now so big she was walking bow legged because it rubbed on the inside of her thighs and thus had open infected sores on either sides.

It needed to be romoved.

That was at the time when the UN a couple of years ago had come to Haiti.

When I got back to PAP from Hinche I was trying to find all ways to help her get this growth removed but just could not find anything.

After returning to the states and a couple of months later I made contact with a Haitian doctor who had just started working in Hinche that September with Partners In Health and Paul Farmers group.

I told him all about this family and he took them under his wing so to speak to see the mom and Angeline were on HIV meds and then he took Raphaella to Cange and had the growth removed.

We praise the Lord that it was not cancerous but a result of the rape. Raphaella is now in an orphanage in PAP waiting for her adoption to be finalized.

Our dossier has been approved by IBESR and is now in the parquet (courts) every step seems to take so long and waiting is so hard to be able to get her out of the orphanage and home. I pray every day that this will happen soon as there seems to be many hold ups in the process of Haiti of which I do not know and is out of my control.

It is hard to understand all the delays at each individual step but I wait. Why do my husband and I adopt Raphaella?

Raphaella is 9 and I do not do this to take the Haitian out of the child, I never want to do that. I take the child out of Haiti to give her the opportunity to live her in the states to go to school and perhaps college to help make her life a little easier.

I never want her to let go or loose who she is or where she comes from because that is who this little girl is, she is Haitian.

I hope that given time after the adoption we will take her back on trips to visit with her mom and her sister and to see her friends she left behind so that she will never loose that connection.

I see this as her having two families.

Her family in Haiti and her family here with us and perhaps someday after she is grown and gone through school she will return to Haiti to work and to teach.

I feel that this is how God is using my family here in the USA. However with the time she has already been in the orphanage in PAP she is already loosing that connection and getting older with each year. We love Raphaella so much and we believe God has great plans for her but ...we wait for this adoption to be done. I do not know if you can help and I hate to even ask but if there is something you can do to help us with this situation I cannot tell you how grateful we would all be to you.

As I said our dossier is in your court system at present having gone through first legalization and the IBESR.

Our names are David Schinbeckler and Mary Rutten.

The child's name is Raphaella Germain and the agency in Haiti we are working with is For His Glory.

I would love to hear from you regarding this all but I know that you are a very busy man but I will pray and hope for this anyway and we will see how God works on this.

Thanks you for allowing me the oppurtunity to write to you and address my concerns regarding our adoption.

I do hope that I hear from you.


Mary Rutten
David Schinbeckler
samsam31 at

Mary Rutten, September 17 2007, 2:06 PM

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