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Not All Answers Are Created Equal

I got a call from Senator Claire McCaskill‘s office today.  Allow me to say that while I probably don’t agree on a lot of issues with the Senator, her staff has been incredibly helpful and responsive.  Double thumbs up to the Senator and her team on this.

They were getting ready to get on a conference call with the Department of Homeland Security to discuss a recent memo from Secretary Janet Napolitano and wanted some clarification of what I was hoping to do in bringing in orphans, along with any questions I might have should they get a chance to ask them.

Uh, yes.  Thank you.   “Ask them what the plan is for orphans who were clearly orphaned before the earthquake but who were not yet assigned to US families…”.

Those are my mission right now.  The kids who have US moms and dads batting for them will find their way out over the next few days….but many kids whose orphanages have been decimated will not get humanitarian parole.

Believe it or not, after the conference call, Senator McCaskill’s office called me back to let me know how it went.  I told you they were helpful.

As it turns out, according to strict interpretation of the memo, there is the chance of humanitarian parole for those already in process with a family, but not for those who were not in process (which is to say ‘most of them’).

Early on, the government suggested this applied to 250 orphans with assigned parents, although they’ve already identified 600 sets of parents so estimates are being revised to reflect reality.  No estimates so far on how many were without assigned parents and therefore not eligible for parole, but you can multiply the other number by….a lot.

“So what’s the plan for the children left behind?”  I asked.   I’m particularly concerned about these kids because the conditions they’re living in are atrocious.

One orphanage worker, Troy Livesay with Heartline Ministries, twittered today:  “Our clinic turned into a hospital, and our sewing room into a surgical ward,and an arm was amputated with a reciprocating saw.”

What about those orphans left behind in that atmosphere?  It turns out the US is a little skittish about just coming in and taking charge (not sure when we developed this neurosis) and so we are hoping that Unicef or some other international organization will come in and set up a ‘Safe Haven’ for those children.

At this point, I’m sitting in my office balancing Piper in my lap, trying to keep her from mashing down on my keyboard.  “A safe haven?  What’s that?”

“It’s a camp.”  The senate staffer tells me.

I grow a little sick.  I went to camp as a little kid and didn’t really like it.  I wondered what this  camp was going to be like.   “A big camp for all the orphans?   Where will that be?”

“In Haiti.”

That’s it.  At this point, that’s our federal response to the Haitian orphan crisis.  A big camp in a country that was poor and chaotic before the living snot got shaken out of it a week ago, after which it really went to pot.  Enjoy camp, kids.

But wait! Aren’t children getting out?  I see it on CNN!

Yes, I know you’re reading about groups getting out, but those are groups who already have parents waiting for them.  We are getting our own out and putting the rest in camps.  That’s not humanitarian.  That’s taking care of ourselves.  And for those left behind, can we just go ahead and paint a big target on Haiti and declare “Sex Traffickers Apply Here”?

Nicollette Grams had a horrifying piece in today’s The Atlantic, where she wrote:

“In Haiti’s unstable post-quake atmosphere, at least one industry is poised to flourish. For those who buy and sell children for sex and cheap labor, Haiti is ripe with opportunity.” THE ATLANTIC :: 1.19.09

Here’s the scoop.

I am not proposing we fly in with a C130 and scoop up every child in Haiti.  I am saying that in cases like one specific orphanage that I’m in discussion with – where the fifty children escaped with their lives when their orphanage ‘fell down’ (their words), and only fourteen of those kids are eligible for humanitarian parole under current regulations, that I want those other thirty six children here in Kansas City where we will care for them in a safe, secure location until such time as the US Government figures out what the heck to do with them or the Haitian people rebuild their world.

I’m not asking for wholesale adoption.   I’m not asking to place them in an over burdened state foster care system. I’m asking for the church to step up and make a way for these kids that satisfies state requirements, honors Haitian sovereignty and keeps a door open for their return to Haiti in due time.

I know, I know, it’s never been done before.  Probably not true, but it’s never been done by us before – so that’s suddenly the measuring stick of what we do or do not do?

The secular media is ringing the warning bell.  If we don’t take them in, the traffickers will.  Are you okay with that?


55 Responses

  1. No I am not okay with that. I’m sick to my stomach over this.

  2. I feel sick, and all I can do is pray. I feel helpless. PLEASE HELP THEM JESUS.

  3. that’s insanity. it’s the bureaucracy at it’s best. if it doesn’t fit into the existing system, it doesn’t go. Jesus come back!!

  4. having been involved with haitian adoption but not able to get our boys out due to corruption. i can not even begin to express to you how loudly my heart is screaming…GET THEM OUT! Save them in the name of Jesus! i began praying a few years ago for the flood gates of heaven to open and for these innocent children to be released from haiti in the name of Jesus Christ. knowing that He is able! i believe i am witnessing the manifestation of this prayer being answered. He is able to set these children free! I will keep crying out to Him. these children will come home with deep wounds and will need immense care and help for these to be healed. but i also know that my God cares and he heals the brokenhearted!

  5. You are such a gift to us, Randy and family! I have been praying for you today! The God who takes the IM out of im-possible will show up on your behalf! Lord prepare hearts of the families who will open their homes!

  6. Great piece. I feel the same way. There must be a way to see those children here.

  7. I’m not OK with that. It is NOT OK! We, the church, cannot sit silently idle and allow this to happen. We have an obligation to do whatever we can to help these children. I don’t need to quote bible verses to support this, open up the bible and you will likely find one about caring for orphans and widows jumping off the page. It is our duty to care for these children; regardless of man-made boundaries created to distinguish one parcel of land from another.

    I have been asking myself how the Lord would have addressed this scenario when He walked the Earth. He was not shy about moving between different areas and shaking up the status quo. We cannot be afraid to ring the phones of our elected officals, send faxes, appeal to the press, open every door put in front of us – whatever it takes. I believe this is a call to the church…will we respond?

    Since there is a barrier to the children coming out, what about having groups of loving parents go in to help care for these children? Can we at least shield them from the human traders?

  8. Thank you for this post Randy and working so hard to find a way. WOW, my heartaches and yearns for those children to come here to KC for care. I am praying hard and sent a message to Haiti Embassy. I even contacted Holt here in KC who we are using for our adoption (they even have a Haiti program and they are say NO to foster programs for their orphanage). I have to agree with what you said just because it hasn’t been done before does not mean we shouldn’t do it! Again you hit the nail on the head with your comments!

  9. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583408,00.html

    I forgot to add this……why is it ok to give Illegal Immigrants 18 months here in the us because of Haiti conditions but not give the Haitian CHILDREN who can not fend for themselves, the same rights???? Really makes no sense……….

  10. I’m not okay with it either. at. all.
    Troy and Tara Livesay are dear, dear friends of a friend of mine at our church…Amie and Tim Sexton. They all are fabulous people! have you been in contact with troy at all? or only thru twitter feeds. i’ve been following their blog and keeping up to speed with their endeavors in Haiti post earthquake. I’m praying…i’ve got my thinking cap on as to who i know that would be “in the know” or carry some weight. i knew a bunch of big wigs in Bucks Co. PA when i lived there…ie. lots of attorneys and politicians.
    Keep pushing thru…keep reaching for the impossible sooner or later the ceiling just may pop off.
    wish i could do more. i’m reposting your every post and kelcey’s FB posts on my own. getting responses and prayers. i will continue to lift you all up as you enter the grand think tank each day and night, that God would grant you strength, clarity and perseverance. blessings.

  11. Wow! Really hard to swallow. Keep pressing through Bohlenders. We will have to believe that someone will hear the truth. We have to keep joining together to be their voice until someone does! It worked for Horton. 🙂

  12. Oh,God, encounter the decision makers this night! Give them dreams that contain your blueprints for walking this out Your way. Give them vivid, recurring dreams showing them what it would be like for their own children if they were to be placed in a “Safe Haven.” Make it very personal to them, Lord. When they awaken tomorrow morning, may they have a new vision and Holy Ghost clarity about the steps that need to be taken to do right by these orphans.

  13. Wow. Could not agree more. How do we act on this?

  14. […] form email, to petition them to ask/allow the U.S. to help them take care of their orphans. This post explains why we should even bother and care — the short version is that a) countless children […]

  15. I am praying for these children and for the efforts to bring them here.

  16. I read this yesterday and thought of your post….
    Praying it happens….

  17. I have been heart-sick thinking these same thoughts. I don’t know what to do other than pray. Our home is ready to take one in. We have an approved homestudy. We are READY! But given all we have heard about Haiti and adoption it sounds pretty much near impossible. Why should these children have to wait? What can we do? In NY… standing by, and ready.


  18. As a family that has adopted Haitian children in the past, my email inbox is flooded with families with approved homestudies who want to know: How can we help? How can we foster these kids at our own expense?

    There are people ready and willing (screened! qualified!) to do this, if only we can GET them here..

  19. what do we need to do next to help this orphans?

  20. Thanks for the insightful post… I have had these exact thoughts. How do we act on this? We too have an approved homestudy and have been looking for answers to all these same questions – how do we get these kids over here and get them into families? Time is not on their side. Things are not going to get better for them anytime soon. We need to get moving. Thanks for what you are doing, I will be anxiously watching to see if there are any answers soon so we can move forward for these precious kids.

  21. Randy, your readers may want to read a blog written from the frontlines of a Haiti orphanage – Dixie’s blog – God’s LIttlest Angels @ http://www.glahaiti.org

    Is this one of the orphanages you’ve been in touch wtih, Randy?

  22. Thanks for the scoop Randy. WE MUST try to get them out. If we can change the lives of 36, 50, or 100 lets keep praying and fighting to DO IT! We stand beside you.

  23. oh Wow! You’re are correct, those with adoptive parents are fighting tooth and nail to get their kids homes… but what about the countless others…. What can we do? How can we help those that are left behind? How can we best protect them?

  24. I am just SICK over this. We are ready and willing to take children into our home as are so many others. I am crying out to God on their behalf. I will never understand our government.

  25. I have been doing some research. Apparently the Archdiocese of Miami maybe making some head way in aiding the orphans?
    They can be contacted via phone or email at

    Standing in prayer and believing God will help, guide, and grant favor to bring as many orphans to the US as possible.

  26. Just playing devil’s advocate here… is it the US’ responsibility to go into a country and scoop up all of its orphans? Where’s the Haitian government’s responsibility in this?

  27. I weep every time I see those precious, beautiful children on tv. We need to do something. Thanks Randy for your perseverance and keeping us updated. I will keep praying to God to rescue those dear ones!

  28. Thank you. We need to write and fight for those who can not. This is what injustice looks like. This cannot be tolerated. We need to find a way to pull together and do whatever we can to right these wrongs.


  29. Oh Lord, open the doors, so that these little ones can be taken out of their current environment. Loved on, cared for and safe!.

    Let us the church, do our part to care of these children.

    OPEN the doors for them to come here to KC, let us do our part.

  30. My heart has sunk! My wife and I are praying that the Lord would open up a door for those children to be delivered, and our home is open if the Lord chooses us for this task. We’ve already contacted an adoption agency and are waiting for a reply.

  31. Please – contanct me if you need people to come and be a part of taking care of these children – if the door opens for this to happen.

  32. Could US approved foster parents foster one or two of these children for a set time period – 6 months or a year? Then reevaluate the cases?

    My husband and I are approved foster parents in South Carolina and would be more than willing to foster a child or two from Haiti until they could be returned to Haiti or adopted (completely and legally). If we can bring orphans from other countries here to find adoptive parents, why can’t we do that for these children?

  33. […] Then I followed some links and found this. […]

  34. Thankful for a Sovereign Lord that redeems all things for good. Praying He allows all of these children to safely leave.

  35. My husband and I are also approved foster parents and would be more than willing to foster/adopt some of these kids in need of a home. I’m echoing a previous post and we too are burdened by the devistation and the affects it has had on the children of Haiti. Praying the God makes a way….

  36. […] since there could be a hold put on adoptions through Haiti? I followed some links and found this. At this point, I wish I were screened and approved as a foster parent. I would gladly foster a […]

  37. supposedly there are 300 Haitian children set to land in Indianapolis tonight or tomorrow–we got an email about it from the church we attended while we lived there. they asked for people to step up to house them temporarily–so i don’t believe they were already in the adoption process with US families. i’m not sure of the veracity of the information–but supposedly 1000 families signed up to house the children, so they cut off the application process. they said they were going through Indiana’s Department of Children’s Services. maybe something to look into or call to see how that worked out. the service organizations involved were “Agape Families” and “Safe Families”. Someone named Krista Davis was the one calling the church to see if they could be of help.

  38. Two Sunday’s ago God really put the idea of adoption on my heart. Out of the blue, I couldn’t & haven’t been able to get it out of my head. My husband and I have 2 of our own, almost 3 and 18 months, but for some reason I felt the Lord telling us to adopt. Then, lo and behold this horrific nightmare happens. All I can say is since last Tuesday I cannot get those images out of my head. I cannot stop thinking about all those poor, innocent babies who have no one to hold them and tell them it’s all going to be okay. I’ve been researching online about adoption in Haiti and it’s so frusterating – they say you must be 35 and married 10 years. Really??! So we are 30 and 32, married 5 years, and that’s going to keep us from giving a child a healthy, happy life?! Instead, they are forced to stay in a “tent” with no one to care for them or worse yet are kidnapped into sex trafficking or heaven knows what else. I feel at a loss. I want to help, so badly, I want to help. Thank you for your post. If there is ANYTHING that changes that we can do, PLEASE let us know. Praying for each one of those sweet, sweet children.

  39. What do we do if we are willing to ADOPT 2 children RIGHT NOW but have not begun the process (not even one little bit) but had been considering it BEFORE the quake and are willing and able and maybe even “called”.
    We can support & raise 2 more children (we have four ages 22-14) from baby to adult (and beyond :), but we do NOT have $10k-$20k per child for adoption fees.
    Is there a place for people like US to help?

    Thanks for what you are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. My arms are open. We have to save the children.

  41. We are praying. And we are foster parents too – could we take them in?

  42. My wife Dianne and I live in Chesapeake, VA. We would like to adopt a boy five years old or younger.

    Let us know how we could help.

    Years ago, I helped Northwest Haiti Christian Mission for a short term trip. We would be more than glad to take in a child.

    Doug Carter
    Life Point Ministries

  43. we are licensed through the State of Montana as foster parents, Called by God to care for children. We would love to see those children in safe, and loving homes. We would love to house some of the children. We just moved into a new 11 bedroom home.
    Dana Bartlett

  44. My husband and I are willing to take in orphans from Haiti, any age. We have boys ages 14 and 11. I’m praying that red tape will disintegrate and children will get placed quickly. We don’t have much, but we do have enough to share with a few children.

    And if that is not possible, maybe this is the best time to begin a long term mission assignment to Haiti. It is ripe for evil, but it is even more ripe for the supernatural presence of the Living God through His people who will lay down their lives for others.

    Brentwood, TN
    Franklin Vineyard Church

  45. Praying and trusting for supernatural (God-sized) things to happen…when we are willing to do our part and ask Him…He will make a way when there seems to be no way. We the Church, must stand up and do our part where widows and orphans are concerned all over the globe, and yes of course in Haiti as well…All power is God’s< Let's ask Him for this…He can accomplish this through the church…let's all be willing…whatever little or much you and i can do in the moment…do it now. We don't need approval from anyone but Him…if He is for it no one can stop it…

  46. Our hearts are grieved for these little ones. Of course we are praying earnestly for them but, we are longing to give these children homes where they will be loved and cared for. Please let us know what else we can do. Thank you so much and God richly bless you for your hard work.

  47. We are a licensed non-profit adoption agency in Texas. For those children who were already identified as orphans, but not yet matched with American Families — we can help if the U.S. Government will allow us to get those children out of Haiti. We are a small agency, but already have sooo many families ready to help. If you have ideas for us, please contact us. If you are interested, please go to our website and give us your information so we can add you to a list of potential adoptive parents. Merinda, Executive Director Adoption Covenant

  48. Our website is adoptioncovenant.org

  49. So if we want to help, and want our church to help… or be ready to help if/when the orphans are suddenly allowed to come… What should we be doing to get ready? Is the first step getting licensed to be foster parents? Or should we contact an adoption agency? Is there a “We’d Like to Help” list we should be getting our names on? :o)

  50. My thoughts exactly! I KNOW that we could find homes for 50-100 of these orphans in our small church community. . . but how do we logistically get them here? Please let us know if you find a way! It makes me sick that our govt. won’t do something to help get them here. I’m sure the human trafficking networks are already there and they aren’t obeying any laws as they are taking children out!

  51. My husband and I are foster parents in southern Indiana and are willing to house or adopt some of these children. It has been our heart and hope to give neglected and forgotten children a loving, caring, Christian home. We did not have the ability to pay the $10,000-$20,000 it would take to adopt overseas, so the Lord has set on a path of fostering and fostering to adopt through the “system”.
    We are praying for these children in Haiti and are willing if the Lord has a way for us.
    Who will love them?! We will!!!

  52. Is there anyway for the US government to set up an expediated system to screen out human traffickers?
    There’s got to be a way for us to use our strength on behalf of these little ones.

  53. The government has pretty much stuck a fork in that.

  54. We will take one!

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