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01/15/2010

So close

They were so close, this little group of Haitian orphans waiting for homes in the U.S.

They'd been matched with families, hopeful couples waiting to welcome their children.  People like us.

And then.

Their caregivers, two American women who run the BRESMA orphanage in Port-au-Prince, could seek the protection of the U.S. Embassy under the auspices of their citizenship.  But they elected to stay in the yard of the falling-down orphanage and care for the children, who had no food, no water, no standing to enter the United States and no way to get here if they did.

"i want to make sûre évryoné ùnderstands," wrote one of the women, Jamie McMutrie, from a borrowed Blackberry, "we cant stay in haiti and thé kids will not live if théy stay. Riots will start within two days."

An astonishing endeavor is underway to deliver these kids from what's almost certainly a death sentence.  "The children are now legally allowed to enter the United States," writes Virginia Montanez at That's Church, who's been orchestrating the effort with the generous support of the Internet.  Now they need an airplane, one large enough to carry about 150 people.

I know this is simply one sad story among the thousands coming out of Haiti.  It's one that touches me personally.  There but for the grace.  I am not a parent waiting for an international adoption, not someone who checks the mailbox every day hoping to have some word, not looking every day at a dog-eared photograph of an almost-son or -daughter imagining the future.  But the love those parents have, and the need the children have — well, I know those parents, both before and after their kids come home.  And through those parents I know the kids, and what they have the potential to become, if only they could get just that little bit closer.

I've seen our little corner of the Internet work miracles.  This is bigger than that, graver and more urgent; thankfully, the larger community is coming together to make another miracle happen.  If you can be part of it, if there's anything you can do to help — if you have contacts, ideas, or money to giveplease do.


All credit and thanks to the Bloggess, who's been Tweeting about BRESMA.

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