Just below the surface

​My seven year old son, out of the blue, quivering with tears, just came to ask mom why his parents didn’t want him, and soon after, with the same tears streaming down his face, came to tell me:

“thank you, thank you for adopting me, I’ll always love you, so much”.  

Talk about a tear jerker;  I guess some wounds run deep below the surface even when you don’t see them.

To Express Anger for Ignorance

In regards to HR5283, just so we understand the expectations here:  These children WILL become citizens whether or not the law passes.  The law on the floor will just make it so they don’t have to wait the 2 years to become a citizen, due to the way they came into the country to complete their adoption. 

It means that if their parents were to die, they would be treated like their siblings in guardianship transferring to those named in a will, rather than immediately becoming wards of the state.  It just means that they can travel freely in and out of the country without fear of harassment, and that they will be treated with the same respect and value and dignity that we, as American citizens, often give to no others, unless they are "Americans".  I’m all for becoming a citizen legally, and if we have to wait, we have to wait.

However, as a family that adopted children from another country, I can’t tell you how surprising it is when we hear people express anger or consternation at us or towards us for helping people in another country instead of helping people here at home.

Little do they know that our family is very active in doing both, as are most every family that has opened up to a foreign adoption.  And, more than that, I guarantee, GUARANTEE, that probably 90% of the people that make statements in anger over people helping people in other countries, first, live such sheltered lives, that they truly speak only out of ignorance, and second, are likely to be doing nothing to help anybody, but themselves. 

When people start to become in tune with the destitution of their own community and country, it’s a natural progression of maturity to begin to see past borders, past gender, past race and color.

The mind of a 5 year old

Late last week our friend Junior from HIS Home for Children came to stay with us for a week. When he walked in and our daughter Christella saw him, she hid, and went off alone and was in tears – such strong tears that she was having gut-wrenching convulsions.

I turned to Junior and said "I bet she thinks you’re taking her ‘home’" – and sure enough – she was afraid Junior was here to take her back to the Orphanage. Once Amanda and Junior (Amanda in English, Junior in Creole) explained that Junior was only here to visit, and when he left, Christella would be staying with us – she brightened right up, and not another word of it.

It was a great confirmation that she loves us, and wants to be with us, but a sad testimonial to how much trauma she has experienced in her short little life.

The sting of bitter-sweet moments…

Below are pictures of the Hotel Villa Therese that we stayed at twice last year in Haiti, before and after pictures posted by our friend (and Hotel Manager, Alix). 

It took me a few minutes to even be sure that I was looking at the same structure – unbelievable.  And then, when searching to try and understand how the guests of the Hotel fared, I found this article


I have heard people, perhaps carelessly, talk about how much “beauty” they see in the ruins of Haiti, but can we really forget so quickly what happened to the lives of the people there, and how this destruction impacted people around the world, once we are home, and comfortable in the safety of our lives?

I have to warn you, that it is absolutely heart-breaking; and only one single story, in a country full of devastation.

While I’m usually someone with a lot of words – there really isn’t anything that I can think to say – just numb silence…

It will always be with bitter-sweet memories that I recall the month that the Lord brought our children home to us.



UNICEF – Champion for Children or Cesspool of Evil?

Anyone that has ever championed for the lives of children in Haiti and other places around the world would certainly think the later, from my experience I’m inclined to agree.  Skim through this blog to see what people working on the ground in Haiti to protect, feed, and find homes for orphaned children think of UNICEF – and there are plenty others too.

I certainly agree that the children need to be protected, but UNICEF is not about protecting children – because actions speak much louder than words – it’s pretty clear to see that UNICEF is really about reducing the population, not saving children.

I can’t tell you how many children, only over the last year, that I have seen – directly or through the eyes and cameras of friends in Haiti (and the number I’ve seen is only a tiny fraction of the number from one single orphanage in Haiti) that come into the orphanages starving and close to death because they’re families can’t take care of them, or their relatives can’t take care of them, and they want these children to have a better life.

UNICEF wants these children to remain at home with their parents, or their relatives, receiving little or no medical care, and little or no food, offering little to no help for providing the care that they need – despite the wish of the parents or guardians; UNICEF in essence is condemning them to death.

I am very thankful that my children made it out of Haiti before UNICEF slipped the noose and pulled the lever – but what about all the other families, and all the other children.


Special Field Report: Haiti’s Orphans Held Hostage from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

Haiti: Making Sense of suffering?

A powerful aftershock today resulted in the final determination that the buildings of the HIS Home Orphanage are no longer safe even to be around. The buildings had to be abandoned. The children have been moved to a local Church down the road.

This afternoon I found this article about a young 22 year old woman who was working with Orphans in Haiti; she was killed when the 7 story building she was staying in collapsed in a “blink of an eye”. Our hearts go out to her friends and family; this story hits very close to home.

I’m sure in the days and weeks to come there will be numerous tragedies like this discovered and reported on. There really is no answer to the question of “why” even when our entire lifespan is just a breath on a cold winters morning. I have to lean heavily on the trust that there is a reason; and all the senselessness of the destruction and death and chaos will someday make sense.

As you probably are; I have been really struggling over the last couple days in trying to make sense in my heart out of all the pain and suffering and destruction that is going on in Haiti right now. I can’t make any sense of it, no matter how I try.

I’m not really sure if there is any way to make sense of it, as we are looking through a small telescope at the vastness of the universe of time, we can only see one small moment in one small area of space.

I was reminded today, in the midst of this agony of heart something I read by C.S. (Jack) Lewis, regarding the problem of pain and suffering in his book, The Great Divorce. I thought I would share.

It really brings no consolation for a broken heart: but it at least can remind us, that there is a God-view that we cannot see – and we must remember to trust and have faith.

“‘That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say ‘We have never lived anywhere except Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.’ – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.




Update on our Children & Haiti

From what we have heard so far, both David and Christella are ok.  The orphanage is ‘ok’, the buildings did not collapse, but they are unstable and everyone has been sleeping out on the ground.  Adoptions are at a standstill (obviously), and it’s likely that our paperwork has been destroyed as it was just delivered to the IBESR right before the earthquake.  At a time when the need couldn’t be greater to have these children safe & home, unless God will intervene on all of our behalves, things are looking very bleak. 

We have written letters to Senator Snowe and Senator Collins and the Office of International Children’s Issues to ask for the possibility of Emergency Humanitarian or Refugee Visa’s – but we are not sure if that is even an option.

We know of so many buildings that have collapsed, and some of the people we know and have met are among the casualties – but we do not have much more information than that right now. 

Due to the decrease in food, water, no electricity, likely no working sewage system, and the issues that will come with so much of the death and destruction – the worst is yet to come.

We are working on pulling together donations from local stores of non perishables and money, and we will be bringing them to Boston to fly out with the formula on Tuesday – Pray that we will be able to help make a difference in this endeavor.

l’Institut du Bien-être social et de recherches

As I was about to put down the computer for the night, I received a “blip blip” from our Lawyer on Skype who was down in Haiti working at l’Institut du Bienêtre social et de recherches.  l’Institut du Bienêtre social et de recherches is also known in most adoption circles as IBESR, and is the “Social Services” of Haiti. 

IBESR is the monumental first step of the adoption process – and we have just entered it!!!!  Our journey has just officially begun; and our most worrisome point is still to come that is the Haitian National Palace where we shall petition to receive a waiver to adopt (despite the fact that we already have biological children, and we are under age 35).

Any parent reading this blog will perhaps understand what it might be like to have your children separated from you and be so far away, out of your loving arms and protection, but worse, that it is not within our power to bring them home.  I’m not sure what it was, but in Church this Sunday both Amanda and I broke down as we started to sing “Knowing You”, we both almost had to leave the sanctuary as we had a hard time pulling ourselves back together.

So – we have just officially, after a full year of preparing with paperwork, started out on the long, long journey of adoption.  Our daily family prayer is that God will empower and guide Clifford (our lawyer) to work efficiently in the legal system to bring our children home, and that God will strengthen Chris, Hal, Junior and HIS Home with the ability to provide the love and protection for our children while we are separated from each other.

And if you have it in your heart, for us, please bring this request before the throne of The Almighty. 

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