BANGOR, Maine — Jodi Renshaw of Bangor, whose 4-year-old son, Isaac’s, birth family lives in Petit Goave, Haiti, has heard nothing more about the fate of the family. Early Wednesday morning, a powerful aftershock of last week’s earthquake was centered near Petit Goave, about 35 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The secondary temblor caused significant additional damage to a town already devastated by the first event.
Renshaw was featured in a Bangor Daily News story Wednesday that described her concerns for Isaac’s birth parents, Marjorie Joseph and Michael Metellus, and their two daughters, 12-year-old Rochelle and 9-year-old Marie. At the time of last week’s earthquake, the family was living in a one-room cinder block home next to the Catholic church in town. Renshaw has learned that the church collapsed in the original temblor, but has been unable to learn anything about the status of Isaac’s birth family.
The news of additional damage Wednesday’s aftershock did to the town of about 12,000 residents amplifies her concerns and underscores the Catch-22 of the situation, Renshaw said. Her husband, Halis Sirimoglu, is prepared to make the journey to Haiti and try to find Isaac’s birth family. But even if he succeeds, she said, there is no guarantee that future damage, injury and dislocation are not forthcoming, given the unstable conditions in Haiti.
In addition, she said, she has heard reports of some Americans who have come back from Haiti in the past week with malaria.
“It’s weighing all these risks that’s really tearing at us,” Renshaw said Wednesday. “I really don’t know what to think.”