Wow, an aftershock of 6.1 this morning in Haiti? That’s considered a major earthquake to most of us used to those Richter numbers. And I was reading that, even before the aftershock, infection and amputations had become the focus. Amputations? Good Lord. And so many. … And for so many children. It all just breaks my heart.
One of my Lifescript friends on Twitter, Dr. Beckerman, forwarded this article about a residency colleague of his, Dr. Louise Ivers, who happened to be in Port-Au-Prince at the time of the earthquake. It details her experiences of both the earthquake and the aftermath — a really fascinating read.
Meanwhile, my colleague Laura was telling me about a U.S. friend of hers who was in the middle of adopting a little girl from Haiti. The paperwork was just stretching out forever and ever … and then the quake hit. She said her friend could hardly get word whether the orphanage was toppled or not. The latest she heard was that the 82nd Airborne was going in to try to secure the orphanage. Schools, hospitals, orphanages. … So many to worry about.
I wrote an article last Friday for Lifescript about how to help in Haiti — which charities are safe to choose, and how the text-donating thing works. My focus there was really just to help well-meaning readers who want to help but aren’t sure how. It’s all just overwhelming.
I work with a woman who had been trying to adopt both a brother and sister there for 3 years. The process had taken that long, not because of Haiti, but because of the USA and Visa issues and she was really getting frustrated because, well 3 years is a long time! They would always seem to be “there” and some more red tape would show up. Anyways, they planned for them to be here for Christmas and that didn’t work out, but finally – they were able to go to pick them up this month. Well, her and her husband went and got their children, got on the plane and while they were waiting for take off, the earthquake hit! They were the last plane out and made it here safe and sound! It just gives me chills to think about it and it makes me so sad for all those other people who weren’t so lucky!
Oh my gosh, Debi, what a story! I’m so glad your coworker is okay, and what amazing timing!
My coworker added to her story and said her friends were having major difficulty getting the US Gov’t to sign off on Humanitarian Visas to bring the children home. They were turned back from the Embassy and told to come back with pictures of all the kids. She included a Google map of Jenae’s orphanage (“SOS, HELP” on the roof). Not sure if the link will come out, but it’s here: http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en… So much to worry about. …
Yes, signing off on the Visa was the problem my co-worker kept having. They thought they had covered every possible angle (searching for relatives that might have an interest in the children, researching everything that could go wrong to prevent it, etc.) When the process started the children were 2 and 3 and I guess you have to be precise on the forms of what age you intend to adopt…well, USA dragged their feet so long that by the time they thought they were finally going to bring them home, one of the children turned 7 and their forms said they wanted children 6 and under! So, even though the money was paid and everything was taken care of up to that point, they had to fill out and sign new forms that included the older age and have the US and Haiti sign off again. Isn’t that just crazy?! I have so much respect for people who are adopting these children and feel bad for how unfair the process seems. I sure hope your co-worker can find her children and bring them home safely!
Both of those stories make me so sad. I also have a friend who was beginning the process on adopting from Haiti.
We are hosting an art show in Venice Beach tonight to help raise money for the orphanage.
It’s just hard to see all the pictures and all the people suffering.