Saturday, June 16, 2007

Haiti Update - June 16, 2007

I am on my way to Haiti again, this time only for a few days. Both babies have been really sick. It is so difficult to be thousands of miles away from your children under normal circumstances, but it is especially difficult when they are sick. I was especially worried about Tamarah because she has sickel cell. Well, how can I say that - because Erna is only four months old. I was just as worried about her.

About three weeks ago, I had been told that my file was signed out of the Ministry of Interior, just to learn that this was not true. This short trip was planned in response to these news because I was going to get Tamarah's visa next week and bring her home with me. I was so sad to learn that her file had not been signed out of MOI, in fact, it is still in the Director of Political Affair's office.

A letter was written last week, currently on line at to petition the Minister of Interior, Mr. Bien-Aime, pleading him with him to put a stop to the Ministry of Interior's holding up of the children's passports. So far, over 200 parents have signed the letter. This is the second petition, the first was sent to the President of Haiti in May.

President Preval will be in Washington next week, asking for funding for Haiti. He wants to eradicate corruption and give Haiti a "jump start". We should definately pray for his plan to eradicate corruption, it will take God's intervention, I am certain.

When I was in Haiti, I met with the Chief Cabinet Stanley Joseph, a really nice man, however his promises did not come through for a variety of reasons. He has been told that all passport files were signed out of MOI. Well, the adoptive parents waiting for their children's passports would know about that, don't you think?

The Ambassador of Haiti to the United States, in Washington D.C., Mr. Raymond A. Joseph has tried his best to help the adoptive children passport hold up to no avail. When he meets with President Preval next week, he will give a copy of the petition letter to him as well.

I find it absolutely amazing that one person can hold up all these passports. I find it amazing that this person does not get checked on. He has made claims, including to a Haitian newspaper that published the claims, that he signed out 2,000 adoptive passport files. He has made claims that there is no waiting passport file in MOI because he is signing 100 files per day. If somebody would take the time to check on his claims...

I find it amazing that adoptive parents from all over the world have gotten together to put together this letter and to petition the different Haitian government officials. The internet is amazing. By the way....that is how we know that no 100 files per day are being signed. There were about 200 files for passports waiting inside of MOI in May, now that number is closer to 300 as adoptions have been finished and children are ready to join their families.

I hope and pray this problem will be resolved soon.

Orphanages are filled to their capacity because the children waiting for passports, children who are legally adopted, children who have parents cannot leave. As a result, children who need to be in the orphanages are sent away. What happens to those children?

Prospective adoptive parents are turning away from Haiti. They no longer want to adopt from Haiti because there seems to be so many delays and issues. Those parents could have become parents of the children that the orphanages had to turn away. It breaks my heart.

I have some photos of a morgue in Port au Prince, Hait that has dead babies stacked like dolls on bookshelves that reach from the floor to the ceiling. Dead babies! The photos are surreal. I had contemplated posting those pictures, but I think that it would be too shocking for anybody.

It makes me wonder why the world, as a whole, does not seem to care so much about children? Children are dying in the thousands each day, all over the world. Adoption is a drop in the bucket, so to speak, if you look at the big picture. Why are babies thrown away at birth? Why are children not regarded as worthy lives? Why do we live in a country where food is thrown away, where doggies are carted around in little strollers or carried around in little purses? Yet we, as a society, look away to the plight of starving and dying children?! (No offense to owners of little doggies...I have one too. It is just so ironic.) There is enough wealth in the world to where everybody would have health care (incl. everyone who goes without health care in the U.S.) and where everybody has enough to eat.

One a side note --- I finished this year of law school with a 3.71 GPA. Great isn't it?! I was having lunch with a friend who is a lawyer, went to the same law school as me, and he was asking me what area of law I am interested in. I really want to do children's rights law, especially on an international level. I have found a program in Miami, Florida where I can get my doctorate in international human rights law. The professors are the most famous and most recognized law "brains" and activists in human rights law. Funny thing is that when one finished regular law school, one gets a "juris doctor" degree, but you cannot call yourself "Dr." unlike somebody who earned a Ph.D. or E.D. However, the program in Miami give you the official doctor title. Fancy that...a "Dr. of Human Rights Law".

One of the things that I noticed while trying to assist in overcoming the passport "impasse", there are so many organizations that fight for human rights, but really very few to none fight for children's human rights. Why is that?