She was eight years old the first time we saw her. Fabiola’s dad was our property hand back then. He often times spoke of his family that lived in Haiti, “I have a daughter and a son back home.” I heard him make that statement several times, so I asked Ruben to help him bring his family across the border. Some of our friends in the states helped and before we knew it, Fabiola, along with her brother and mom, were now a part of our mountain family.
I remember her making up dances with my girls to the “Frozen” movie. They would grab my shawls and proclaim “Let it go….” as they’d throw my shawls across the room. They watched that movie over and over and over and over again in English, Spanish and French!
They did things that little girls do. They splashed in the pool or river all weekend, they hiked all over the mountain, they played with dolls and wore down our crayons on all types of paper they could find! They were all little girls, their lives were supposed to be that way.
After a while, her family had to move away. Her parents made sad choices and Fabiola found herself trapped in an abusive relationship with a man at the tender age of twelve.
I’ll never forget the day when our cook announced, “I saw Fabiola yesterday!”
I was thrilled, “Really! How is she?”
My heart sank. She was one year younger than my Starr and one year older than my Soli. It seemed like yesterday when they watched “Frozen” in my living room.
I quickly snapped back to reality as I remembered where I was. It’s not too uncommon for young girls in her economic bracket to end up pregnant. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to help!
After a series of conversations, we realized that she was taken advantage of by a man. He saw that she had a childhood crush on him. He knew that she was vulnerable and unprotected because her dad was out of the picture at this point. He started by introducing her to pornography, then coaxing her into reliving the scenes with him.
She didn’t like it and told him that she didn’t want to continue, but she felt trapped by his emotional abuse. She was only a child, he is an adult!
She ended up pregnant.
He moved into their home and paid their rent, bought their food and took care of everything for all of them. Her mom was glad to have help, but it was at the expense of a little girl!
She had to give him what he wanted when he wanted or he would threaten to leave them. They had no money, live in the Dominican Republic without adequate paperwork and have no education. She gave in because she didn’t know of any other way.
He moved away after a fight. The police are looking for him and he doesn’t want to show up there! We were glad when he left, hopefully this would enable us to reach out to Fabiola. So we did. We paid their rent and brought them groceries too! We walked up the long steep hill in the hot sun to spend time with her. We even celebrated with her on her birthday, the day she turned thirteen!
Sadly, he sent for her and her mother made her go. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to take care of two more people, so she told her to go.
The abuse became worse. Her baby continued to grow, but her spirit kept dying. One day, he tried to cut her with a machete, but neighbors intervened and got her out of there. They gave her money to get home. She happily escaped while he was at work. Her mother was happy to see her, but told her to go back.
I literally couldn’t sleep. I remembered the day she asked Jesus to be her Lord and of how she’d swing in the hammock and sing worships songs. It really wasn’t that long ago! So I intervened. I finally moved forward!
We were able to find her and to sneak her onto our property while he was at work. She is safe now. She is cared for. She is loved.
She’s faced trauma in ways that most of us will never even be able to comprehend! Praise God that we are there! He enables us to give her what she needs.
Her baby is due soon. We really need your help! We have to pay for her medical expenses, psychiatric care and normal everyday needs. Can you help?
Now two young lives are at risk. Two children need assistance. This is our chance to radiate God’s glory in this world! Please give towards Fabiola’s needs today. http://hope4drnow.org/