That is what hopefully separates the children desperately trying to survive in the Haitian orphanage that our agency works with from a loving home that awaits them in the United States...
(Port-au-Prince, Haiti) On January 20, 2010, 133 orphans from the Maison des Enfants de Dieu (Children of the House of God) orphanage will begin the difficult process outlined by the U.S. Department of State for humanitarian parole and onward transportation to the United States. In accordance with instructions received from the State Department, as relayed by the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) at 8 p.m. today, orphans along with orphanage staff members have been instructed to arrive at the U.S. Embassy as early as possible on Wednesday morning. JCICS warned that no food, water or facilities would be available for the children while processing at the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince.
JCICS further relayed that orphanage requests to the U.S. Embassy for security and transportation for the children have been denied by the State Department. The U.S. ministry associated with this orphanage, For His Glory Adoption Outreach (FHG), was also asked to stop requesting security, transportation or even water at the orphanage location. Following discussions with staff and board members in Port-au-Prince, the difficult decision was made that all 133 children, including approximately 60 children under the age of 3, will begin early in the morning of January 20th to walk the over 2 kilometers to the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince. This decision was made due to the limited staff available and the increasingly dangerous security situation at the orphanage in Port-au-Prince. The staff will carry as much water, food and baby formula as possible with them for the orphans while processing at the U.S. Embassy. JCICS relayed that once processing is completed, the orphans will travel to the United States on "cargo jets to locations that are not often known until an hour or so before the flight leaves."
Kim Harmon, President of FHG, acknowledged that "this arrangement is far from ideal for the safety and well-being of the children. We are calling to all who care about these precious children to pray earnestly for their safety tomorrow."
FHG is a ministry to the people and children of Haiti. Our ministry is dedicated to fundraising and assisting the orphanage, Maison des Enfants de Dieu, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
I feel so fortunate to live where I live. It almost makes me feel guilty for having the life that I do. The comforts of everyday life here are continually taken for granted, until a tragedy like what has happened in Haiti occurs. Everything is instantly put into perspective.
The thought of everything these children have been through over the last week and the danger they may face on this walk to the Embassy evokes many emotions, not the least of which is pride in our adoption agency. The tireless work they have been doing for days on end is about to pay to huge dividends to the children they are working on behalf of. The world is a better place with people like Sue and her staff at CCI, and everyone that has supported them in the last week, as they work to help those that cannot help themselves.
I am looking forward to the email saying they all made it and are boarding that plane to the United States.