Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Jan. 12, 2010 there was a massive 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and the island is absolutely devastated. I am, naturally, drawn to all the stories of the orphans. There were 10,000 children in orphanages in Haiti BEFORE the earthquake. After the earthquake, that number will probably double. I know a woman from Connor's Chess club who was in the process of adopting an orphan, a 12 year old boy, from Haiti. The future of that adoption is now in limbo because the government buildings and records were all destroyed in the earthquake. The situation just breaks my heart. I can't imagine how the family must feel. After all the paperwork, and all the waiting, and all the preparing for our new sons, if something like this happened in China just before we were supposed to travel to complete the adoption... How awful! From what the news says, the US government has granted emergency visas to 200 children who were already legally adopted by US citizens in Haiti, but they were waiting for their entry visa. In China, we will complete the adoption, and then apply for the visa at the consulate in Guangzhou a week later. Adoptions from Haiti require the adoption to be completed in Haiti, and then there is a few months lag-time for the visa to be issued. Children caught in that loop are the ones that the government is now flying to the US on an emergency basis. All the rest of the children just suffer. There is an enormous outpouring of Americans who have offered to adopt children who are "for sure" orphans (children who were already in an orphanage prior to the quake), but no one is allowed to accept applications for these children at the moment. There is simply too much chaos. All this reminds me of the Tsunami in the Philippines 5 or 6 years ago. I kept watching the coverage on TV, and that is when I began to say that we should adopt. I could not sit idly by and watch children suffer, when we have the resources to provide a good home for them. It seems as if we came full-circle somehow with Haiti now on the news everywhere. If we weren't already going to China soon, you can bet I'd be on a plane or with some volunteer organization trying to help the Haitian survivors.