2 February 2010

DSC00249Remember me telling you about Harry?  Monday, Eric (our social worker), Terriot (my adoption worker), Cheryl Vanderwell (an American nurse and adoptive parent),and myself, went to General Hospital and put posters of Harry all around the hospital and outside on the walls.  We thought that his mother might just be checking to see how he is doing and would call us!  Sure enough, this morning, his mother called very very happy that she had found Harry!  When she showed up he was so happy and when I asked him who she was, he said in Creole….”That is my DSC00257mom!”     He still is having problems with his arm and leg and some pain.  Today, he went for Xrays at the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital.  Nothing is broken but he has a lot of soft skin bruising and swelling.  Mama wanted to take him home today.  So we showed her how to make him do exercises with his hand and gave her medicine for the pain and swelling.  We also gave her food, blankets, and a big tarp to protect them from the weather.  We asked her to return in 3 weeks so he can have his arm checked again at the hospital.  Harry was such a happy little boy as they walked out the gate together!

UNICEF and IBESR came today to “check out our house”.  They asked us if any of our children had left Haiti and we said, “YES! Almost all of them!”  Then they asked if we had sent any to the DR!  Why would I send children to the Dominican Republic illegally,  when I can send them to the USA, Canada, and Europe legally?? 

(photo is empty beds at GLA waiting for children)

I asked them to PLEASE place children at our house!  I told them that I just cannot believe the children DSC00232are better in tent cities in PAP rather than a house with child care workers, teachers, nurses, and doctors!  I also told them that we worked hard to get our adopted children out of Haiti so that we could take in children from this disaster into the house.  Our beds are empty.  We have 18 children in this big house and the Toddler House has 2 children here!  I asked UNICEF why they preferred the children placed there rather than in preexisting orphanages?  I asked them to please let us help!  If they continue to refuse to place children here, then our staff will have to be laid off from work.  I cannot keep staff just sitting here doing nothing!  I told UNICEF and IBESR this and how the staff need their jobs now more than ever!  We’ll see if this makes a difference or not.  They told me that if they decide to place children here that the director of IBESR and UNICEF must first visit the orphanage.  I asked them “why” when IBESR had already approved GLA every year for the last 6 years?  It is just policy, I was told!  Someone told me from another orphanage, “The children are downing in a sea of red tape and not getting the help they need!”  I believe this is true!

I went to IBESR yesterday and talked to the Director.  I asked her to send children to us so we can work and help.  Send them and we will try to locate their families!  I do not get much of a response from anyone when I ask them to send children.  It is very sad.  I got more of a response from the workers that came today than I did from the Director yesterday.

I also went to General Hospital and talked to some of the doctors and told them that I had empty beds and would take mothers with babies if they had any needing short term care.

I have done everything I can think of to get children here where we can help them.  Now, I am leaving this all in God’s hands!

I also went to the French Embassy yesterday trying to give them dossiers for children in the adoption process.  They took 1 of our children’s dossiers but refused to take the others.  They told me to go to Parquet and get the letter from Parquet.  We were able to get 1 that I found in their dossier.  Went back today with it and they refused to take it still!  We went to Parquet day and it is closed with a sign on the door.  Tomorrow, we will call the secretary for adoptions in Parquet to see if she can help us get the papers that we need.

DSC00061 Being downtown and seeing the devastation was very difficult.  I like everyone else had seen photos but had not been all of the way downtown before yesterday.  The Palace of Justice is nothing but a pile of rubble.  It was a beautiful building!  I was always in awe of it every time I sat out in front of it waiting for someone.  There is nothing left of it that I recognize!  The National Palace where the President lives is still recognizable but not livable.  The Ministry of the Interior is also gone.  Papers just fill the streets!  Ernst stopped to see if his name was on any of the papers lying all over the streets!!  LOL  (The photo is of the area where our cook, Madeleine, lived.  Her home was destroyed and one of her sons was killed.  She just returned to work today)

I returned to Haiti on Saturday night with lots of supplies from DSC00227 Miami.  We have been giving them out to families today that have come asking for help.  We also made up bags for our staff who have lost their homes.  We will receive lots of families wanting help and hopefully, we can get more of our supplies that have been donated to Haiti so we can hand them out.  We are keeping track of all families that come and if they tell us a mother or father of an adopted child was killed in the quake.  So far, we have heard of several deaths among our biological families.  It makes us very sad to hear all of their stories!

John and Steeve are leaving for Colorado tonight at midnight.  They are going to go IMG00277-20100129-1144 out and help at the office to get a couple of containers of supplies ready to come to Haiti. Our office is swamped with donations.  People have sent clothing, baby formula, diapers, medicine, and everything on our list!  The outpouring of aid has been absolutely wonderful!  Look at the photos of Jean Bell’s living room!  Every day brings two or three truck loads of donations!  We will work with other organizations in our area that are well established to help us distribute the supplies where they are needed most. 

The stress of the last 3 weeks is finally catching up with us!  Even being out for a few days in Miami did not help me.  I was so busy the whole time that I got very little rest.  Today, I just wanted to sleep but of course, had too much work to rest!  A friend at another orphanage called me today and said that she is going to Miami next week for a month and not doing ANYTHING but visit and rest!  I would not be happy anywhere but here!  Haiti is my home.  Right now, all of the workers at GLA are needed more than we ever have been!  I am thankful God put all of us here at this time.

I just got called up the the Intensive Care Nursery.  A premature baby that came in a couple of days ago was not breathing.  I started CPR on her and she moved a few times but then her heart stopped!  This is the first baby for this mother and father.  She only weighed a little over 2 pounds but had been doing well until today.  Life stays the same in Haiti.  It is the littlest ones that suffer the most.

And life in Haiti goes on… 

11 comments (Add your own)

1. Jean Shanks wrote:
Bless you Dixie and all you do for the children of Haiti. Everyday I look foward to reading your blog and visiting your website.

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 6:33 PM

2. Lisa wrote:
I wonder if the reason that they are reluctant to place children in the orphanages is because they are going to taket his opportunity to adopt the Hague convention and go to a completely government run centralized orphanage system. I can totally see Unicef advocating for that.

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 7:37 PM

3. D. Cox wrote:
I just ordered 2 rubbermaid containers to be sent to your Colorado office. I hope they get there in time. I just found out about the need today. If you think you will not be able to use them, let me know and I will cancel the order. So glad you found the little boy's mother and I hope UNICEF comes to their senses.

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 7:50 PM

4. Tom Vanderwell wrote:
D, We do still need the containers. Thank you! Tom

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 8:10 PM

5. Tom Vanderwell wrote:
Lisa, Let's all hope and pray that you are wrong with that. I think that anyone who believes that the Haitian government can handle running a centralized orphanage system right now is nuts. But with that being said, let me also state that we are very much aligned with working within the rules that have been and are in place to make sure that all adoptions are done within the legal framework that is in place. We've been doing adoptions in Haiti for years that way and we intend to continue to work with the government for the good of the kids. Tom

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 8:13 PM

6. Wendy wrote:
I live in Alberta Canada I have send to e-mails to UNICEF one on Monday and one on Tuesday. I am still waiting for a reply from them !!!!!!!

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

7. Glenda wrote:
I am so [upset isn't even the right word].I hope that it will not take to long before things can get back to where children can once again be placed for adoptions,but in the meantime;to think you have spaces when these traumatized children have to stay in a tent city,where things would be even more caotic and depressing.They need all the love they can get right now,besides the everyday necessities.We know more people who run orphanages in Haiti and are in the process of sewing diapers,blankets etc. for them.Our prayers are with you and may God bless you all!

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 10:38 PM

8. Lisa George wrote:
Glad to see you still need containers; I also just read of this need today and will do my best to get one out tomorrow! As for UNICEF; this is disappointing news...their job is to advocate for children in need, not apply politics as usual, especially in a disaster zone. Let's hope for the best; another thing to add to the growing list of prayers! Thanks for all you are doing, Tom, Dixie and everyone. It is my hope we will all meet one day. Tom--still looking into the tetanus vaccine, will let you know ASAP if/what we can do from here in Minnesota. All the best!

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 10:43 PM

9. Lisa George wrote:
P.S. I will be emailing/contacting UNICEF as well.

Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 10:46 PM

10. nadia wrote:
Thank god for people like Dixie and all the staff.I saw your interview on cnn and have been following your blog almost everyday.I can't imagine what you all are goig through thhere but god put you thhere to be the voice for all those children!I hope one day soon that thhere will be some order and families like ours who want to help a child from there that we can take them out so they donn't need to suffer any longer then they need to,and to be loved and become part of a family.My prayers are with you all ,annd on behalf of all soonn to be mothers of these children I thank-you for taking such good care of all of our babies. Nadia (Canada)

Wed, February 3, 2010 @ 8:06 AM

11. DeLynn Unema wrote:
God Bless each one of you who are working SO HARD for these children. You are SO inspiring!! Your love for children is very obvious. Keep up the good fight!! You have God on your side and He will sustain you when you just 'cannot do it anymore'. Thank you for the work you do...I hear that the Brink children in Holland Michigan (where I live!) are doing well!! It was so amazing how they got to come home in such a short time - your work is amazing!! I am praying fervently that UNICEF and the government officials come to their senses and do what is best for all of these children. Hang tough, know people are praying for you!! The kids are worth it!! With great admiration & respect, DeLynn Unema from Michigan

Wed, February 3, 2010 @ 11:35 AM

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