Today I said goodbye to our child again and flew home. We continue to not know when we will bring this child home to be part of our family physically, but he is most definitely a part of our family in spirit. He is with us daily in our hearts, our minds and in our conversations.
Since removing him from Giving Hope Rescue Mission we have asked God over and over “why us?” How could our child still be living apart from us? Why are we part of this impossibly hard situation?
And the answer that comes to us is always His loving but insistent response – for such a time as this.
Every day, every minute, every second that our family is not together is a day when our resolve strengthens to allow God to USE us. If our child had come home last spring there is little likelihood we would still be involved or available to the Giving Hope Rescue Mission families. Without him home we have and continue to be willing to be used in whatever way God calls us.
THIS, my friends, is “waiting well.” We wait, with great pain, but allowing God to use us in the gap. In the wait much can be accomplished. In the wait we are here for His will. Even when it hurts. Even at our personal and professional expense.
We are not martyrs. Not even close. We have kicked and screamed and cried through many months. But God continues to grab our hands and use us. When we are scared He has sent us champions. When we are weak these champions have held our arms up. We are glad He has infinitely more patience and strength than we do.
We want to publicly say that we love and support all of the Giving Hope families. We know that every person, no matter what point of the adoption you are in, is hurting. Our most sincere empathy is with you. We pray for God to give you resiliency and strong discerning hearts and minds.
Earlier this month 10 families traveled to Haiti to seek some answers on behalf of all GHRM families and children.
There were some incredible moments. God moments. Connections made “by coincidence” during air travel that were no coincidence and greatly enhanced the ability of the group to advocate properly and move around Port au Prince safely.
This trip was foreordained, was purposeful, and was very productive. Some very clear leadership and talents were displayed on this trip for which we are incredibly grateful.
The stories that may emerge from the trip are complicated and not all will be shared here.
Importantly what we want to convey is that we/you are being heard. Where there was no cohesive voice, there is one now. Where there was lack of coordination there is coordination now. Where there were mixed messages being sent to the proper authorities the message now appears to be unanimous.
IBESR, Bureau of Protection of Minors, and the US Embassy (with ALL of the proper entities included in both the US and Haiti) are working in tandem to protect the interests of children, birth families and adoptive families affected by Voice of the Orphan and Giving Hope Rescue Mission.
We have no reason to believe that by speaking out, speaking with one voice, or presenting evidence there will be any need for the Haitian or US government to close down Haitian adoptions. Individual adoptions by families previously contracted with VOTO, with adoption decrees and in the immigration process, are in no way “on hold” and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
That being said, the message to our group was very clear: Giving Hope Rescue Mission has no authority to move children, withhold paperwork, withhold children or process adoptions. Voice of the Orphan is a non-entity in Haiti, also without authority to move children, process paperwork, negotiate any type of release of children or represent adoptive parents. It is of crucial importance, in our opinion (based on what we were told in Haiti), that families engage with IBESR and not with GHRM or VOTO representatives.
Our group of 10 has written notes and instructions from this past week and these are available upon request.
Please know that, no matter how you choose to proceed in your adoption, your story is relevant. Your statements are important. Your voice is necessary.
Know that we have and are sharing what we are permitted to share. But that we may not be able to give you all the answers you are looking for.
We encourage you to put aside any fear and to connect with the proper authorities (as outlined in the instruction letters being sent out) at once. If you have questions, please email the firstname.lastname@example.org address and one of the group will help you immediately.
We need to affirm that we are not in the business of secrecy, gossip, or withholding information from one another. What you share with one, will be shared with all. But will never be passed along to any staff or founders of VOTO or GHRM. We will love you, support you, and help you in any way possible. But we will not keep secrets among the adoptive families and we encourage you to join us in transparency.
James, Tammy-Dawn, Kimberly, Anne, Amy, Tara T., Kasey, Shasta, Kris and Amanda