On Monday mornings, I meet a few friends, most of them in some way associated with River of Joy Lutheran Church, to have a little fellowship and a Bible study. This morning we didn’t crack the Bible. Instead we talked a lot about Haiti.
The pastor at River of Joy recently visited Haiti, I think it was with the group Love A Child. He met people, visited a few orphanages and food distribution centers, and saw firsthand how his efforts are impacting the children of Haiti. His visit made an impact, not just on him, but on those of us who heard his stories and learned more about Haiti. (Here is one of the blog posts from his trip)
I was shocked by the poverty, the starvation, the orphans, and how little each of us would have to do to support our neighboring country. And those recent feelings were fresh in my mind when this earthquake happened.
This weekend my wife and I discussed whether we would be interested in adopting a child from Haiti. We’ve had this discussion before. We’ve talked about adoption, but it has never been a realistic option because we can’t afford to pay a few thousand dollars, let alone the tens of thousands of dollars foreign governments require to adopt a child.
There are a lot of orphans in Haiti hoping to be adopted. The population of Haiti is nearly 10 million, and upwards of 40% are children. Loving parents are forced to give up their children simply because in an orphanage, at least the children have a chance for a meal. I heard that many children in Haiti don’t live to be five.
Think of the impact that would happen if the world responded by taking those kids. Provide them steady meals, good education, and return them to loving families. Not only would the children be better off, the new families would be better off. It would allow more resources in the country to go to supporting the people there. And one more thing, think of the connection, the investment, with Haiti that would be built among families who live outside of Haiti.
Today at our Bible study Pastor Steve mentioned that there are at least three families at River of Joy who have brought up adoption of a child from Haiti. With us, it is four, and I bet more, despite the small congregation.
So what can we do? There needs to be a frank discussion between a couple of governments. Rules, and bureaucratic fees need to be lifted. I’m guessing if a boat full of Haitian orphans docked in Miami, there would be more than enough families willing to adopt a child, even if that meant driving across the country to get there.
By the way, if you are interested in joining a friendly and casual Bible Study group, that is half Lutheran study and half just getting together to talk, we meet Monday mornings at 6:30 a.m. at the Lakeville Caribou Coffee on 185th just off of 35. Stop by, don’t be shy, or email me if you want more information.