Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Ground in Haiti

Just wanted to point everyone over to our friends Jeremy and Christina's blog, . Jeremy is an ER doctor and just arrived in Haiti to help with the medical needs over there. Christina posted an email that she got from him and it gives you an idea of what it is really like on the ground over there. Thanks, Christina, for sharing, and prayers for Jeremy to stay safe and healthy while he's over there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Haiti

There has been so much chatter inside my head this week concerning the situation in Haiti. The news coverage has alternately made me inwardly scream with anger at the an anchors for completely getting it wrong or cheer for them for getting a story right. For days and days I wondered, WHERE ARE THE STORIES ON THE ORPHANAGES??? Where are the stories on the American kids stuck in crumbled orphanages that no longer even exist now sleeping in fields surviving on 1/3 of a cup of water a day (maybe) if they are lucky and no food, no formula for the babies, with loving families just waiting for them here at home? I knew the situation at the Bresma orphanage was growing increasingly dire, as it was at God's Littlest Angels. From their reports, I was only able to surmise what other orphanages must be going through. Fuel shortages to run their generators and therefor purify their water. Food and water shortages. No aid arriving. Sitting in the the sun, sleeping outside to avoid aftershocks. Babies in great need of hydration. My heart was beginning to sicken. I can not handle thinking of these things.
And then, the stories started happening. The push on the blogs maybe started paying off. You would do anything for your children, would you not? I would. If my child was sitting in a field literally dying of thirst, I would camp myself out and bang on every government official's door I could find. I would call every network. Get on every show. Tell EVERYONE. And you know what? It worked. A major TV push. Publicity. Crying mothers and fathers, video of beautiful helpless children. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania flew a plane down to Haiti last night and escorted 54 orphans back to the states, where they will receive medical care and nourishment until their families can come pick them up.
Today I am hearing still more focus from the news on the orphan situation in Haiti. I am relieved to see this focus happening. Haiti's adoption process is long, involved, and hard. Many of these parents have been waiting to bring these children home for years. This earthquake was horrific. No parent wants their child to go through something like this, especially away from them. But if any good can come of it, then let it come. Let these adoptions, that are already legal and in the final stages, be expedited and finalized so that these kids can join the families that they belong to.
And to those who are splittering and splathering on tv about the running of the airstrip and how its not fair that an airplane got to land to pick up orphans, while critical supply planes had to wait, well I have a lot to say to you. None of it is nice. None of it is helpful to the situation. All of it would make me feel better. I will exercise something I am not accustomed to exercising, and that is some self-control. But I did throw a styrofoam dart at your face.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The adoption community is small and will shrink your world as it widens it. At least it has mine. It makes news stories of human tragedy personal. Every third world country now means something to me. Hunger and civil wars, human trafficking, genocides of course; but yesterday when the earthquake hit Haiti, I had the news on in the background and heard the breaking news alert. It stopped me in my tracks. I had just talked to a mom at Asher's school three hours before who has an absolutely beautiful daughter from Haiti, and who is waiting to get her daughter's brother from Haiti as well, but who is currently still in Haiti. I immediately thought of her, and her son Amos (who is in Haiti). I can not imagine what it is like to be a mom away from your son or daughter and not know if they are okay or not. Thankfully, they received word that Amos is just fine. Please read her blog, dreamingbigdreams, located on my blog roll, as she has amazing ways to support Haiti in the relief effort (plus her blog is just awesome anyway). Also, if you are in Austin, her and her husband are going to be on KXAN at 6:00 tonight (1/13) to talk about their story and ways to help Haiti, so check that out as well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Dad Point of View

A lot of people ask us why we are adopting. Some of them preface the question with "Do you mind if I ask.." or something similar as if they are intruding into our personal space. Most of my friends know that I don't really pay any regard to the cultural lines of personal space, sometimes to the point of Rachel's embarrassment. But the truth is: we love talking about it, both of us. I don't always manage to make what I say match what I thought however, like my brain and mouth are playing a horrible game of telephone. So I thought I'd write here where I can think it through and delete the parts that only make sense to myself.

There are really two significant parts to speak of, one being the decision to adopt and the second being from where to adopt children.

Rachel and I never had a long period of discussing about whether to adopt a child. We always felt that we eventually would reach out to a child that needed a family and love it. Knowing God's love is such a blessing and such a huge part of our life that we can't help but want to experience it further. God uses marriage to teach me to love and to choose to love everyday. And He uses children to teach me to love unconditionally while at the same time providing for needs and caring for something entirely dependent on Rachel and I. They don't even know they are dependent on us. This week I experienced that moment that (probably) most parents have when their child tells them they don't love them. And all I could say was "I still love you. And I will always love you." I don't know what to say, but I know that if I tell God I don't love Him, He will still love me.

I guess the long and short of it is that we feel adoption of a child mimics God's adoption of us, improves or saves a child's life, and teaches us more about God, love and life.

Secondly, we had to decide a place to look for a child. I'd like to claim some credit for this, but really my wife's attentive heart was led to Rwanda. A place to adopt always seemed like a logistical choice for me. Pick one that we fit requirements for, choose one that you can afford or that has a good time period or many other similar reasons. But after reading and praying and listening, Rachel strongly felt like God had a child in Rwanda for us. She handed me a book called Land of a Thousand Hills, a biography of Rosamond Carr, an American woman that lived in Rwanda for 50 years and witnessed many wonderful and many horrible things.

While reading this book, I fell in love with the country and felt a sadness and a hopefulness for the people there. The Genocide there has left many homeless and fatherless, and God has called us many times over to care for those in need. After I finished the book, I did some research and found that logistically, everything about Rwanda was perfect for us. Praise God.