A Judicial Symphony
The steps were steep, concrete and slippery… leading up, up, up to the second floor of a corner building. I’ve seen the building a million times, I can even see it from my window. Today was the first time I actually attempted those stairs for myself; on a mission to see the Judge about an adoption.
I have a friend who now lives in Nicaragua who is trying to adopt a little Miskito girl that she has raised since she was a few months old. This one was very malnourished and sick last year and has a beautiful story of healing and redemption.
Adoption is very, very difficult in Honduras. There are fewer than 20 adoptions out of Honduras every year. Here in La Moskitia, adoptions by outsiders are almost impossible. The indigenous people want their children to stay here.
I have come to understand and respect some of their reasoning. And yet, I hear from many people who want to adopt from here; ready and willing parents for those children here who are hungry and without a roof to call home. It seems like an easy fix… and yet, no.
Sigh. These things complicate my sense of justice.
Back to my story. I agreed to help the friend above on this end with paperwork so that she wouldn’t have to make the expensive trip to Puerto Lempira. Honestly, it sounds so easy… go to the judge or the police to see if there is a file on the child and if so, see if a letter has been sent to Tegus to the child protective agency.
Arriving at the top of the stairs, I noticed the small line. The watchman ushered me to his desk to sit. From my view at the desk, I could see through the window, across the barrier rail and then on down into the park. A bird’s eye view.
Suddenly, the sky unleashed a canopy of water. Ah… a time for reflection. Those small details always captivate me and pause as if to say ‘You’re fully alive.’ At eye level, I saw something startling. Two concrete pillars about waist-high with a rusted metal bar between them… the railing to protect people from falling from the second floor. An ugly sight.
And then came the symphony… droplets of water clinging to the underside of the rusty-brown metal bar. Growing full, larger and larger until they could no longer stay attached. Falling, lengthening, forming large crystal-like teardrops until they found the ground. Each drop growing and falling at different intervals; each second a new, beautiful creation growing from the ugly, rusted bar of man-made metal. Music for my eyes.
Just as quick as it began, it was gone. I had no camera to record it, only my mind’s eye remembers.
Shortly thereafter, I realized I’d been waiting an hour and a half without progress. A young man came out of the door, looked at me and turned around. Within a few seconds, the secretary that I met yesterday afternoon on this quest, beckoned me. The same young man that I had seen moments before was introduced to me as the new Judge of Letters. Fresh diploma on the wall; young man from the interior of Honduras with his entire life ahead of him – assigned to Puerto Lempira, the so-called ‘backside of Honduras.’
For a moment, I was transported in time. A young woman, still a girl in many naïve ways, a fresh law school diploma and the confidence to tackle the world. Who was that girl and to where did she disappear? The pieces of me that lay tucked away often surprise.
The judge’s office was air conditioned and I felt like I was in heaven for a few moments. He promised to look into everything and asked me to return at 2:00 p.m. I did and there was a file with the baby’s name but included no letter. The next person I needed to talk to from the police station happened to be sitting in the court. He promised to do some searching and see what he could find… He told me to give him a ‘little call’ on Monday. What is a little call? With my Spanish, calls are never little.
I’ve learned that things here take immense amounts of time. One task takes weeks to bring to fruition; only making the results even sweeter for us when they do actually happen. The Judge of Letters seems to be one who will truly help. Hear Ye, Hear Ye … justice is coming.