Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Orphans in Haiti

This is taken directly from the Project 320 blog.  You can see videos there too....

The outpouring of support for Haiti that we have seen throughout the blogging community is astounding. Everywhere we turn, it seems, another fundraiser... another campaign for aid... more hope for Haiti.

But what about the hundreds of thousands of orphans amidst the chaos? This is something very close to our hearts. Julie and Heather M. have both talked about their friend, Kristen Howerton, on their own blogs over the past week. You see, Kristen was actually in Haiti last week during the earthquake, visiting her son, who her family has been in the process of adopting for years. Like so many others who were nearing the end of this agonizing process, the future is now even more uncertain, as the government buildings processing adoptions have been destroyed. Can you imagine the devastation Kristen felt when she was finally evacuated home... without her son? Heartache.

[Here is a video clip of Diane Sawyer on the orphans in crisis. You can even see her holding the Howertons' son, Kembert (the cutie in the blue shirt), during a visit to his orphanage- Heartline- just after Kristen returned to the US.]

What hope do the families like the Howertons have? There may be an option for getting these kids safely home under humanitarian parole.

The next mission of Project 320 is to desperately spread awareness about humanitarian parole. We are so thankful for YOU, part of our amazing team of supporters & prayer warriors. We can potentially make a huge impact here, and here is exactly how YOU can help- RIGHT NOW! All it will take is a bit of your time. We can all afford to give a few moments of our time. Please help us spread the word in any way you possible can! Thank you, friends.

{most of the following taken directly from Kristen's blog...}

We need to make some noise to get our congressman and senators working on this. Please use any contact you have with immigration, attorneys, press, or anyone who might have influence to get our story out there and put pressure on the state department to intervene. The points are outlined below, followed by the contact info for some of our government officials. If you know of others, feel free to pass this along.

The government buildings that were processing adoptions were demolished. Many government workers are feared dead. Orphans in Haiti are in grave danger, and yet have willing families in the US who can care for them. Children in orphanages are homeless. They are at risk of looting and robbery. Everyone in Haiti is at risk of food and water shortages and air-born disease due to the current situation. The local caregivers are focused on their own families, so the orphanage is short-staffed. Supplies are running low. The situation is desperate.

THE SOLUTION IS HUMANITARIAN PAROLE FOR ADOPTIVE CHILDREN. These children have willing families to care for them and can be brought to the US for care. While granting a humanitarian parole is outside the normal procedures, the United States government has granted them in the past (e.g. Cambodia and Romania).

THIS IS NOT AN EXPEDITED ADOPTION. The adoption process is now completely incapacitated, but when it resumes the United States seeks to honor the adoption process established in Haiti. This is a humanitarian effort to care for these kids, and the adoption will be processed using the usual procedure at a later time.

Humanitarian parole for adoptive children benefits everyone involved. The kids are moved to safety. There is no cost to the government because these children have families ready to care for them. This frees up the orphanages in Haiti to care for more children. It does not circumvent the already established adoption process. It is ethical and compassionate.
The Honorable Barbara Boxer

United States Senate

112 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510-0505



Twitter: @Barbara_Boxer

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

United States Senate

331 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510-0504



http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/ index.cfm?



The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher

United States House of Representatives

2300 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515-0546





Voice: 714-960-6483

FAX: 714-960-7806

Clinton Foundation


Raymond Joseph Haitian

Ambassador to US


P: 202-332-4090

F: 202-745-7215

Kenneth H Merten

US Ambassador to Haiti

Tabarre 41, Blvd 15 Octobre

Port-au-Prince, Haiti


P: 509 22 29 8000

F: 509 22 29 8028

Hilary Clinton/Dept of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000


Kim said...

I thought you would want to add this to your page. It is a Haiti people finder gadget from Google to help people find loved ones who are still missing. http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/01/staying-connected-in-post-earthquake.html

I put it on my page at http://silkydogwood.blogspot.com/ but I don't seem to have it 100% right yet, it is showing up blank. Maybe it will work better for you.

Thanks for bringing attention to the cause!


Tara said...

and this is why i am friends with you. a heart of gold.

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