Since the earthquake in Haiti, I have been wanting to post something, but I honestly have not been able to find the words. The devastation is beyond incredible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried (no big surprise for me) while watching the news reports, wanting nothing more than to turn off the TV but knowing that I needed to see what was going on.
I’ve been asked on several occasions why we don’t just adopt a child from Haiti. Beyond the fact that we are committed to our Ethiopian adoption on numerous levels, the simple answer to that question is that it’s just not that simple. And really, except for the children who were already in the adoption process, this is a terrible time to consider adopting those children. We don’t know who is an orphan and who isn’t. We don’t know if children who lost their parents have other family members who can take care of them. We don’t know if children with living family members who cannot care for them have been properly relinquished. We just don’t know much at all, and keeping families intact is so important. We don’t want to remove children from their families and their culture if there are other options. International adoption needs to be the last resort.
[That statement holds true for children in Ethiopia or Russia or Korea or anywhere else. International adoption is the last resort.]
Of course, the need is tremendous and everyone wants to help. In my opinion (and that’s all it is – my opinion), the best thing we can do is send money to reputable organizations to make sure the children have safe places to live and food and water.
Now we’re hearing the story about the ministry group that took over 30 children from Haiti to the Dominican Republic without any documentation. Regardless of their intentions – which are yet to be fully determined – this type of thing just can’t happen. As terrible as this story may be, I actually think it’s good that it came to light, so that people have a better understanding of why we can’t just take children from one country to another without going through proper procedures.
I wish I had something more profound to say on these very important issues, but I just don’t.