15 January 2010

Something you CAN do NOW for Haiti

I am reposting an email I received from a friend today. This is something YOU can do that would make a difference for Haiti. Please consider reposting this on your blog or facebook (you can create a note with the info and direct your facebook friends to it in your status update). We really CAN make a difference! Thanks! ~April
A quick recap: My wife Cathy was in Haiti when the earthquake hit. Traveling with a mission group from the Carmelite Community of the Word from the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, they were in a small village about 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince. No one the group was hurt and they are now in the Dominican Republic awaiting a flight this afternoon to Miami. In addition, our daughter and her husband are in the process of adopting two children (Wendy & Josiana--brother and sister) from Haiti. The two children are in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Fortunately, no one in the orphanage was hurt in the earthquake, but now they are threatened with a severe lack of drinking water and food.

Beyond for sending money to one of the relief agencies, there is little we can do as individuals to help. EXCEPT...

Like Wendy and Josiana, there are hundreds of Haitian orphans who are awaiting final approval for adoptions to families in the U.S. The building in Haiti where the adoptions are processed was destroyed in the earthquake. It may be years before the processing can resume.

However, the U.S. can grant temporary visas to all orphans whose adoptions were pending before the earthquake. With the grant of visas the oprhans could then come to the U.S. to live with their adoptive families, but be classified as "foster care" children until the final paperwork is completed. In granting the visas, the evacuation of the hundreds of orphans stuck in this limbo will free space in Haitian orphanages for the thousands of new orphans that have been created by this emergency. Please note that under U.S. rules, any family that applies to adopt a foreign child must first be certified as a foster care family, so there is a safe-guard system in place to insure that these oprhans who would come here under this plan will be safe.

PLEASE, PLEASE. Contact your U.S. Senators asking that they put pressure on the United States Citizenship and Immigrantion Service (USCIS) to grant "temporary visas" to all Haitian orphans now in orphanges awaiting the completion of their adoption process.

This is a real way to help and it will cost nothing. You can send Emails by going to the website for the United States Senate (http://www.senate.gov/) and finding the links to your two senators' websites.

If you have contacts or friends in any agency of the U.S. government who could push this idea with USCIS, please reach out to them to help, too.

Thank all of you for your concerns, good thoughts and most of all prayers for my family these past few days. ~Ed

No comments: