To read my other pieces on Haiti, please go to:
It’s not about Haiti, Damn It! It’s All About Adoption! It’s All About US!
Haiti: A Little Bit About Important People in Their Own Words
Haiti: Adoption Business Trumps Aid
Haiti: Women’s Health Care: “All About Abortion;” Solar Powered Bibles in the Food Line
American Life League Says No to Condoms and Contraceptives for Haitians
Bastard Nation’s Statement on Haitian Adoption and Babylifts
Operation Pierre Pan Postponed; Politicians Pander
Haiti Child Evacuation: A New Operation Pedro Pan (my keystone Haitian entry)
Haiti: Misc. Updates on Adoption and Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights
I wasn’t going to post anything today until I ran across this article from today’s Toledo Blade a few minutes ago: Quake in Haiti hastens long awaited adoptions.
It’s about Seth and Amber Newlove who find a silver lining (see yesterday’s entry on disaster silver liningism) in the destruction of a country and its people. The earthquake, see, is an awesome example of how God works in mysterious ways. Why, without the earthquake, she and Mr. Newlove would still be waiting to bring Snyder home to Arlington, Ohio from H.I.S. Home for Children, a Lima, Ohio-based orphanage and non-denominational ministry in Port au Prince. According to Wiki, Arlington has a population of about 1350; 99.48% of which is white. We’re with ya, Snyder!
It’s just a good example of how God can bring something good from such a horrible situation,” Mrs. Newlove said.
Then we have the Wassinks from Lima, Joe and Michele, waiting for delivery of Alin who they’ve been trying to adopt since 2008. Mrs. Wassink’s brother, Hal Nungester and his wife Chris, just happen to run H.I.S. and his mother is secretary of the board. Other board members are “Christian leaders” from west central Ohio and northeast New York.
The H.I.S. webpage tells us that the orphanage has around 125 kids between the ages of birth to 13 and three fulltime staff. (right–pre-quake mealtime) Many are “orphans” while others have been abandoned there by “a single parent who is unable to provide for them due to extreme poverty.” We have no idea if abandonees up for grabs–or if anyone at H.I.S. thought to help those mothers.
School is held in the on-sight classroom for children 5 and older. Our Christian teacher conducts the classes in both English and Creole with older students learning French. The 3 and 4 year olds began attending pre-school classes off-site at Quisqueya Chapel in September, 2005 with a volunteer Christian teacher. On Sunday mornings Sunday School classes are taught at HIS Home for our children, and children from another community orphanage as an outreach ministry to share the the gospel of Jesus with the children of the community. Following Sunday School, the children attend worship services at Quisqueya Chapel.
We are pretty sure those “Christian” teachers aren’t Catholic.
The Blade reported that 56 children from H.I.S. had been released to travel to the US and the Nungesters were working on getting another 22 released. Since the quake, the whole entourage–listed as 114 kids by the Blade— has been living in the US Embassy. Because the orphanage has substantial structural damage, Hal Nungester is looking for a rental mansion for them.
H.I.S. posted an update on their orphan movement status at 12:33 PM today:
Last night 67 children arrived in Orlando and are traveling today to Miami to be united with their families Hal remains in in Haiti with 59 other children, 12 of whom are waiting for visas. The remaining 47 will remain with him in Haiti.
There is no explanation in the discrepancy between the 114 in the Embassy and the 126 listed in the update.
Continued from the Blade:
Like the Newloves, Mrs. Wassink said she and her husband, who is associate pastor at Grace Community Church in Lima, feel the Haitian adoptions’ hastening was a bright light that came from the devastation.
“One of the first things my husband brought to my attention was Isaiah 61:3: ‘The Lord will bring beauty out of the ashes,'” Mrs. Wassink said. “We will never see all the purposes He has in this, but the ones we do see, we can celebrate and know He is doing wondrous deeds.”
It all makes sense now. Those adoptions in Haiti were just too damned slow, so God knocked the country off its foundations so a few hundred “orphans” could slip into middle christian America where they belong. Or conversely, maybe Pat Robertson was right. God is punishing Haiti by sending its children to the US for evangelical indoctrination.
Ultimately, as I wrote yesterday, it’s all about adoption. It’s all about us.
“Many are “orphans” while others have been abandoned there by “a single parent who is unable to provide for them due to extreme poverty.” **We have no idea if abandonees up for grabs–or if anyone at H.I.S. thought to help those mothers.”
Of course no one thought to help those mothers. When one’s condition is so extreme that a mother fears for the life of her child, she needs help. I am quite sure these pious prigs didn’t turn to their own big book and find that the most “Christian” thing they could do would be to keep mother and child together in safety and supply them with basic needs.
For some reason, this triggers one of my worst memories…that of scanning the surrender document I was being pressured to sign and reading the part where I “did, willfully, abandon said infant child.” If I ever did wear a scarlet letter by the auspices of my own shame, it was the “A” for Abandon. Luckily, I eventually realized that it was just another one of those legal lies, constructed to keep us moms in our places. I didn’t abandon my children. I got conned, big time!
So, now we have people conning parents in the name of Christ. Can I hear an Amen?
Today’s front page New York Times piece made me want to claw my eyes out.
Who doesn’t love a feel good story? I just wish is was one showing the Evangelicals bringing a boatload of chicken fingers to Haiti to feed the kids there. Ok, no, I don’t really wish chicken fingers on anyone.
Boggled, I do not think the issue here is “chicken fingers”,In fact anyone giving any sort of food to people who have none is an act of kindness. Anyone who fed and tried to comfort those kids brought in from Haiti to the US was also doing a good deed, regardless of whether they should have been sent here in the first place.
The larger issues are why Haitian children are being shipped out, and whether those Evangelical folks so eager to adopt have any idea what raising a traumatized child from another race and culture entails. Also of course the issue of whether these kids do have relatives in Haiti or elsewhere willing to raise them.
I have just returned from ten days in Haiti/DR as a pediatrician. I saw the evangelical relief work up close in three different venues. They operate in crafty ways;they do a lot of good. Their long term agenda is murky to say the least. Many have a self righteous sense of purpose, possibly to save from vodoo’s grip on Haitians, possibly to bring in more money for their enterprises, possibly to deliver medical care. But is that only to keep kids alive to make more evangelical, non-Catholic, Christians? I was shocked and confused by what I saw. Thanks for your blog, I was looking for someone else with experience. AE, MD
Thanks for posting, AE. I’d love to hear more and I’m sure other readers would, too if you’d like to share.
This is my main blog Everything from here is collected in a separate Haiti blog End Child Exportation and Trafficking in Haiti. http://dontadopthaiti.blogspot.com/There are also lots of links to other work and resources on the current situation.
There is so much to write about, and I’ve gotten so far behind.