"How blessed is he who considers the helpless..." Psalm 41:1

Thursday, February 11, 2010

what is happening to the children now?

Immediately after the quake the number one question I received was "what did it feel like?". That has now turned into "What do you think about the Americans who tried to take the children across to the Dominican?". Oh the power of the media!

What I think is that they were most likely well-meaning, ignorant people. They may have actually had permission from someone who was not legit and didn't know any better. It does frustrate me because they gave organizations like UNICEF ammunition to put a halt on children being placed with their families... families that have already been matched and established for them. UNICEF has been vocal and I've heard forceful about trying to put a stop to expediting any adoptions at the critical time. They are steady proponents against adoption all over the world.

Do I ALWAYS believe adoption is best? NO. The amount of money the thousands of people around the world spend on adoption could be put into the economies of these troubled nations and completely change the situations these children are in. But then again if everyone gave (just a small amount) we would have the very same effect. They still say 20% of people who can give give 80% of the donations. The world is not perfect.

Most of the orphans we speak of DO HAVE FAMILIES... If you haven't seen it you really can't imagine it. If you haven't lived it you will never truly understand it. That is why the Lord gives us GRACE and why we hold on to our FAITH. I try to explain to people that there are generally 3 options for many of these children that are eligible for adoption...
1. They stay with immediate or extended family will little to no food, water, shelter, schooling, ect. Every situation is different. But the thing that is missing for many is HOPE.
2. They are taken in at an institution such as an orphanage. Depending on the organization they have a much greater chance at 2-3 meals each day and an education.
3. They can be adopted in to a family where they get individual love and care and a chance to thrive with a new sense of belonging and hope.

Study after study shows that a child who feels safe in a home and part of the family excels in each area of their life, more so than those in institutions and even in foster-type care. I would absolutely love for some of the stable families in Haiti to adopt these children, but sadly this is rarely the case. There, of course, is the restavek mentality and even if every one of them decided to take in one orphaned child as their own it still would not be enough. Over half of Haiti's population is under 18. There are tens of thousands of orphans. So that leaves us with a situation, much like my own, where families in other countries attempt to give these children loving homes. 

At the end of the day we are all people. Somos humanos. An organization who is too preoccupied with a political agenda without thinking of the people they are "protecting" is not one I can support. I've learned much about big organizations and how things play out and it is hard not to be cynical. But I would rather be cynical than naive. There are many good people working for organizations such as UNICEF and the Red Cross. But it important to know that their 'political-ness' has resulted in deaths of innocent children. And beyond that, bringing some of these children home to a place they are headed to anyway only opens up room for our children still on the streets to be taken in at an orphanage to be cared for. Last I heard the orphanage directors' phones were ringing off the hook with the police stations and hospitals discharging children with no where to go.

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

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