The Zoe Foundation
Kansas City, MO
US State Department
To whom this may concern,
I have been approached by a number of orphanages in Haiti in the last 48 hours with stories that leave me wide awake at night. In many cases, two or three workers are watching over 50-100 children – some with no food or water in sight. They are scared. In some cases, they are sleeping outside. They hear the crowds yell and the shots ring out just like you do on the evening news….except they can’t shut it off. It’s not their background noise over a tv dinner. It’s their clear and present danger.
Last night I laid in bed gripped by the plight of these orphans. Today, in a board meeting for The Zoe Foundation, ideas began to explode….
What if….we could find a plane that had just dropped a load of humanitarian aid and load it up with orphans?
What if…we could gather medical and social work professionals here in Kansas City to insure the well being of the children?
What if…we could get a group of families who would take them in with the understanding that they may care for them for a week or for a year? In a number of these cases, the children are already legally adopted by US families. They were just waiting to be picked up in Haiti.
This is not the time for blind observance of regulations that were never meant for days like these. Let’s be honest. The Haitian government wasn’t operating too well before the earthquake. It’s not as if a huge social work system is going to rise from the ashes and care for these kids. Yes, I recognize that they are a sovereign nation and we must respect that…so go ahead and call them. See if they answer the phone. Then let’s take no answer as a yes and do something right.
I can find the money to do this. Americans are generous people. I already have a line on an airplane…a big one. I already have a pool of families who will do what it takes. I have doctors who will care for the kids and social workers who will help make it all work.
What I don’t have is the permission of the US State Department….which is why the US Customs and Border Patrol called me five minutes ago to check if I actually had a plane in the air (which I do not).
US State Department, the weak link is you.
We have the will and we can make a way, but you must grant these kids emergency refugee status right now. Our policies that were hammered out during the best of times have now become a roadblock between these children and justice. New circumstances demand new policies…and wouldn’t you rather err on the side of grace?
Let’s make a deal. You work on it…and until you can fix it, don’t eat any food and don’t drink any clean water. That’s the deal the orphans are getting right now. Let your hunger and thirst drive you to do the right thing.
There’s this crazy little story in the 18th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. It’s about a persistent widow who pesters an unrighteous judge until he gives in and does what is right. What do you say we team up for a reenactment. I’ll be the widow.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.
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