Haiti’s children

I finally have something to say about Haiti.  I just wasn’t ready to jump in with an early post on the subject, as I didn’t want to just say “it’s horrible.”  It is.  I didn’t feel I had anything original to say, and while this isn’t original, I want to share something. 

Certainly, we are all concerned for the people of Haiti, especially the most vulnerable – the children.  I see a great divide on how to help them.  Many say, “adopt, adopt!”  Some are going there and gathering children, planning to place some for adoption in the U.S., but have been detained, accused of child trafficking.  Some of these sudden prospective adoptive parents had no wish to adopt from this poverty-stricken place several weeks ago with orphanages full of children in need.  No, suddenly they are in our radar because of this tragedy.  And I understand that.  It’s human nature.  Still, I question the motives and the understanding of people who weren’t thinking of adopting before.  I wonder how these people would handle a traumatized child, when all they see now is those beautiful children on the news.  How would their commitment stand up to a real, screaming, terrified child?  A child terrified of them.  And them, the parents who had signed up to save one of the children with the beautiful eyes who don’t understand that one has to earn the love of a traumatized child and it is hard.

When we think about the best ways to help children, is it really to take them, during a time of crisis from everything they know, and possibly family that wants them?  Can you imagine your own child being airlifted during such a crisis and always wondering what happened to you and, if you lived, you wondering where s/he is?  We shouldn’t continue the earthquake horror; we should try to ease it.  I’m glad the Department of State is writing about it.  I’m glad there are those who are recommending caution.  Haitians need time to wait out this catastrophe.  A chance to find one another.  A chance to build.  Saving people doesn’t mean breaking them up.  Helping people should be about them, not us.

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2 Responses

  1. Absolutely. You said just what I have been thinking.

  2. One of my friends was with a group of doctors who went to Haiti to help immediately following the earthquake. I had jokingly asked him to grab me a few children and I said this long before I heard of any of these groups taking children out of the country for potential adoptions. It was a joke and it was selfish.
    I can only imagine how terrified those children are. Right now they are seperated from family and friends and some people speaking a different language are taking these children in planes to another country! I read an article about 2 girls who were brought to their new family in Montana. They had never seen snow before. Something clicked in my head knowing that snow would be the least of their worries!
    There are people of all ages who need international support in Haiti. And there are people in haiti who are going to need more than support to find they survived the quake as did their children but their children have been taken out of the country. Create one tragedy out of another.
    I wish that while we are reaching out to another country to lessen their pain that we can also reach out to our own neighbors to lessen their pain.

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