Thoughts on Haiti

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I follow quite a few adoption blogs, and so many of them have been commenting on the tragic conditions in Haiti. Just before the earthquake, there were numerous children waiting to be adopted... waiting to be welcomed into their forever families. With the earthquake, things have undoubtedly become more complicated and delays in getting these children home keep piling up. My heart breaks for the adoptive families, for the children who are so close to knowing the love of two parents consistently, and especially for the hundreds and thousands of children who are just newly orphaned because of the tragedy. Its easy to get fed-up and angry at all the red tape that is preventing children from being adopted in the midst of such tragedy. Its easy to think that we have a good solution for finding homes for these children. When I think of children just waiting to be adopted, needing love, needing a home, shelter, support and stability, it is hard to understand all the waiting and paperwork and background checks and interviews that are involved. I read on someone's blog that the typical length of a single adoption in Haiti takes 4-5 years. Can you believe that?

And now the country is going to be facing a new epidemic of orphans. As frustrating as the red tape and the exhaustive process, I am appreciative of those who are truly trying to protect the best interest of these children. As I'm sure you've seen on the news, people in Haiti have had to resort to mass graves in order to keep diseases at bay. Hundreds of bodies are dumped into countless holes as graves. All nameless. No documentation of who is who, where they were found... nothing. No identification. Its just the reality of having to live among the dead in the midst of such a disaster. But no identification means a lack of closure for thousands... children who were separated from their parents during the quake have no idea if their parent is alive or dead. No word of relatives who may have survived. So how is anyone in Haiti to really know which child is indeed a new orphan, and which child has parents looking for him or her? As much as it breaks my heart to think of all the children who have lost their mother or father, it breaks my heart just as much at the thought of us Americans sweeping in to evacuate all the kids who don't know where their parents are. Because the truth is, there are still thousands who have yet to be reunited. That is just one of the reasons for the delay, but in my mind, it is actually worth the waiting, the background checks, the seeking out, etc.

I like to believe that the majority of the world is really good at heart. THat those traveling to Haiti are indeed there to rescue and give aid to those who are in distress. But the reality of our fallen world is that not everyone is good at heart. I just read this article about sex trafficing and the way it increases when natural disasters occur.... I had never thought of this before. I really would encourage you to go READ THIS ARTICLE. It breaks my heart. It makes me want to jump on a plane right now to go protect those little ones. It enfuriates me. It honestly makes me shake with anger. I don't know what the logistical answer is in restoring Haiti, restoring families, restoring health and most of all, hope. God is ultimately in control, and I am just praying that he will place people in power who are able to recognize the increased threat to the children and women of Haiti. And as frustrating as it is to know that there is so much red tape that seems to be preventing GOOD from happening, I have to remember that the regulations are also preventing a mass of BAD from happening, too. This article enlightened me to a new way to pray, a specific area to lift before our father, and I pray that you will join me in lifting that up as well.

One other thought... I caught the tail end of Oprah's show yesterday, all about Haiti. One of the guys she had on there said at the very close of the show, "Haiti doesn't need any more photo ops. Haiti needs people to go get their hands dirty helping. So put down your camera and get out of the way or help." (I'm kinda paraphrasing, but you get the jist.) I couldn't agree more. We know its bad. The people are hurting. So why is it that so many reporters can get into the worst spots, but health workers and aid trucks can't?

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3

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  1. I just found your blog. Thanks for sharing all these thoughts.

    It's unbelievable the way this kind of tragedy can bring out the best in people--people coming together, supporting one another, being heroes. It's so incredible to see all the moments of grace that have happened already with the earthquake in Haiti. But how absolutely devastating to think of the other side of the coin, too.

    I actually just wrote a post today about the issue of sex trafficking and am hosting a giveaway to try to help raise awareness about the issue. ( I'm hopeful that with more people standing up against human trafficking we'll be able to help eradicate it. It's so overwhelming thinking about all the things that are happening in the world and the way people are suffering, but I'm encouraged thinking about how far we've come in some ways. I'm sure there was a time when it seemed slavery would always be legal in the US.

    Anyway, glad I found your blog, and thanks for sharing.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!