Over the past 6 months or so, I have written on this site and some of my other websites about Arnie and Irish. Arnie and Irish are two young girls that we befriended some months back. You can find my story about them here on Habits for Smart People, by going to Helping others sometimes has consequences. Basically, Arnie and Irish came to our house one day looking for recyclable materials that they could sell and make a bit of money so they could buy some food to eat.
Arnie is 9 years old and Irish is 6. They both look to be about half of their age, due to malnutrition, and general neglect. Their family has no money. They have told us that if they are lucky they get to eat a small amount of rice once per day, but no other foods.
After the girls came to our house looking for things they could sell, my wife and kids befriended them. They invited the girls inside and gave them some food to eat. The girls started coming back here regularly, because we fed them. It was on their second visit that I met them, and really fell in love with them. Soon after meeting them, we were able to get ahold of their mom, and we gave the mother a job, working at our house. That lasted only a short time, the mother ended up quitting her job here.
It was after the mother quit working that I wrote my previous article, and at the time we were unsure if we would see the girls again. We hoped that we would, because we wanted to continue supporting the two girls by feeding them and such. Additionally, we had purchased school supplies, clothing and other such items for the girls. We wanted to continue doing that, but just worried that since the mom was no longer working here, she may not let the kids come here. For a couple of weeks we did not see the girls, but after that they came back again. We asked, and they assured us that they had their mother’s permission to be at our house. We kept getting visits from the two girls for a month or possibly more. Then, all of the sudden, they did not come any longer.
My wife, Feyma, told me that the girls had mentioned that they might be moving to a different place, and she assumed that because they did not come back again, they had already moved. I missed the girls, but hoped that they were doing well.
Well, about a week ago, Feyma and I were going to the mall, and as we pulled out from our driveway, and drove about a block or so, we saw Arnie alongside the street collecting Coke bottles that she could return for a deposit refund and get some money for food. We stopped to talk to her, and she ran away from us. Hmm.. that is strange. Feyma asked her why we had not seen her. She told us that her mother told her and Irish not to go to our house any longer. Wow, that made us feel really bad. Feyma and I, though, immediately decided that if the Mother was not giving permission for her daughters to visit us, then we needed to respect that and not try to have contact at all with the girls anymore. I mean, after all, we are not the parents, and the wishes of the parents must be honored.
Yesterday, Arnie came to our gate with about 4 or 5 other children. She was wanting to come in, and I am sure she wanted some food. We had to ignore her, because we have been told that she does not have permission to visit us, so we do not want to take her in against the wishes of her mother. Both Feyma and I, along with our children were very sad, because we truly want to help Arnie and Irish, but do not have permission to do so.
Unless the mother expressly gives us permission to help the girls, I hope that Arnie won’t come back again. Yesterday, she spent most of the day just waiting outside our gate. It is not a good feeling seeing a child in need, especially a child that you have come to love in the past. But, we cannot help those who have been forbidden to accept our help. We are very sad about it, but what can we do.
Arnie and Irish, we do wish you the very best, and hope that your parents can provide the life that you need.