Hi everyone! My name is Tiara and I am starting this blog to coincide with my appearance on the Dr.Phil show, on which I appeared with my friend Jacqueline representing concerned citizens for the lives of the orphans in Haiti.

Through this blog, I hope to do a lot of talking with you and also raise many questions. I don't know if we will get our questions answered, but at least we will have a platform to use our voices. There is so much loss and devastation happening in Haiti right now it is overwhelming. However, this really is happening and those children are human beings just like us and our children -- we cannot just sit and do nothing.

I'll start by asking; if you haven't already, please, whatever you can donate, please donate something, a lot of little donations will end up making a great donation. I know we are having financial difficulties here, but even $5.00 can make a huge difference in the lives of the Haitian people.

I have been glued to my TV, and on the Internet reading the stories and watching the news come out of Haiti. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like there. I've read that it's estimated that at least 2 million people need food and only about 500,000 have received any. Also, according to a spokesperson from Save the Children, it's estimated that there are approximately one million unaccompanied or orphaned children or children who lost one parent. We do know that there were about 380,000 orphans BEFORE the earthquake that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. I read that close to 200,000 people are injured, and that one-third of those people are children. Also, more than 300,000 children younger than 2 years old need nutritional support and that 90 percent of Haiti's schools have been destroyed!

To this point, it's my understanding that less than 500 orphans have been evacuated. This is a staggering low number of evacuations. So this, my friends, is where we start. Did you know that it still takes approximately two years to complete an adoption with a child from Haiti? And that it can cost as much as $20,000 to $40,000? I was blown away.

TWO YEARS! For WHAT? I understand that may be due process, but the country is now in a state of emergency. It's outrageous and not practical for anyone -- not the child or would-be parents. Haiti is now in crisis and these children are all in grave danger. There is no food, no drinkable water, no electricity, orphanages have been destroyed, buildings are partially ruined and it's not safe to stay inside homes due to the 50-plus some aftershocks that keep hitting Haiti. It saddens me that people who want to help these children, like my friend Jacqueline and myself, are being told that it's still going to take up to two years to adopt.

I cannot be alone in thinking that there must be a humanitarian effort to get these poor children out of Haiti to someplace safe. The good news is that there have been children evacuated to Canada, Holland and the United States. These children were all in the system and previously matched with parents, so their paperwork was already filed. But what happens NOW? There is a new generation of orphans -- they are victims of the earthquake who will need orphanages to take them in to care for them, but can't. There will be a lot of children with amputated limbs. So my question is: What can be done to speed up the adoption process?

I saw a story about a 5-year-old boy named Monley. He was pulled from the rubble eight days after the earthquake. He was found curled up in a little ball in a small side table. His parents died around him. (Try sitting with your legs pinned for an hour, let alone eight days.) His uncles are poor and they don't know what to do with him. They cannot take care of him. It's children like Monley who need our help......
Replied By: tiarahaitiadpt on Feb 9, 2010, 12:55PM
Hi Everybody,
Well I am going to say what I have been feeling since the earthquake hit Haiti and my concerns for the welfare of the orphans.  I am completely conflicted in which way to continue on my original thoughts and plans of trying to adopt a child from Haiti.  I agree with everyone involved that no NEW undocumented orphans should try to be adopted that there must be every effort to find their relatives.  However some articles say that there are places for the children to go that are safe and can give them food and protection. But there is also lots of articles that say other wise.  So we are still trying to figure out which way to go? The coverage is fading it is almost difficult to find any new updates from Haiti.  Do we just go on with our lives knowing the tragedy is still unfolding every single moment there.  Donating money which I know is a good thing but I also question where it goes?  Greed knows no bounds.
I find it very disturbing the cost of international adoptions.  Let's just throw a few numbers around and see if any of it makes any sense.  The cost is anywhere from $20,000.00 to upward of $60,000.00 per child.  So when you see that there was 900 children in the system to be adopted to the United States let's take the lower number which is $20,000.00 and times that by 900.  The answer to this is 18 million dollars.... WHO is getting this money?  Someone is profiting from the adoptions. How much could it possibly cost to legally file paperwork? It is very questionable on both sides of the Government.  Where is the humanity of doing the right thing? You can let your mind start wondering what exactly seems legal, illegal and most importantly moral.
People in Haiti live off a dollar a day it is said.  Fifty percent of the Country can't read or write.  They still have the use of restavek's which is children under the age of 15 that are given away by their parents who are poor and can not take care of them to wealthier family members or strangers.  It is thought that this is a better life for the child born into extreme poverty to have a roof over there heads, food is given to them only after everyone else has eaten, they do all the cooking, cleaning, gathering of water, emptying of bed pans, they sometimes get alittle education but in most cases this is not true. Restavek's or child slaves are likely subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  What have we learned from history about the plight of any type of slave?
I don't think that people should be looked down upon for wanting to help we are not suggesting stealing the children who have little chance for any survival.  I don't believe that people interested in adoption want their new family member to forget about their culture.  Their country is in crisis the adults can't take care of themselves how can a parentless child survive.  Where is the logic in leaving orphans in a Country that is totally demolished and is not able to care for its people.  Why isn't having them go to another country to live with parents that will love them, feed them, cloth them and give them an education not a priority.  Is it pride?  Or is it greed?

Replied By: cadescove99 on Feb 4, 2010, 1:49PM
I think they've placed a "hold" on adoptions from Haiti to make sure no children are illegally adopted. Just the other day, six Baptist missionaries were arrested on child trafficking charges. Because the Haitian "orphans" they were trying to take over the Dominican border had living parents.
Replied By: dieuna on Feb 3, 2010, 2:21PM
I just found out something disturbing today.  The orphanage that I'm supporting has three children!!  As it turns out UNICEF is not releasing any children to the local orphanages that have been supporting that area for years and years!!!  They a building with cribs, beds, supplies and more importantly Haitian staff......it's empty.  All the children are in the tent cities!  UNICEF came to inspect their facility that has been approved for many years.  They gave them no indication of when they would receive children to care for.   After the earthquake they worked around the clock to get all their children to their previously assigned forever homes.  Now they just sit and wait with an empty building?  I think something is seriously wrong with that.   The earthquake was over 20 days ago!
Replied By: dieuna on Feb 2, 2010, 11:21AM - In reply to dieuna
The government is still detaining the missionaries who tried to take children to the DR.  As it turns out half of the children still had parents but the parents were afraid they would not be able to feed the children.  The parents desperately sent them off.  The situation must be so daunting and chaotic!  The more I see and read, the more I believe that we should be doing something to help keep the families in tact.  One girl who's mom sent her is praying that her mom will change her mind and take her back.
It's all very heart breaking, but there are so many good stories about help being provided.  The orphanage that I've been following (God's Littlest Angles) needed a plane to get supplies them.  Supplies are not coming fast enough through the "proper" channels.  Gratefully my brother-in-law was able to help them out.  We need to do everything possible to support the organizations that are already working down there so that parents won't feel so desperate to give their children up to perfect strangers.
Replied By: dieuna on Jan 31, 2010, 6:15AM
Tara, I thought you would like this news report :-)  I'm sure you heard about it.  Some Americans tried to take children to a temporay orphanage in the DR.  They got picked up for possible trafficing.  Their trial is on Monday.
They might be able to take them to the DR afterall......but keep this situation in your prayers!
Replied By: tiarahaitiadpt on Jan 30, 2010, 6:48PM - In reply to stvshan
Thank you so much for your comment.  I sometimes wonder if us regular Mothers ruled the world if this would even be a concern!?  ALL children should be loved and taken care of properly and never harmed or in harms way.  I knew in my heart of hearts I was not the only one that feels this way.  We do care and we really do want to help. There seems to be such chaos and misery and no plan.  Every Doctor that has come back has said its the worst devastation they have ever seen.  Why leave them there?  Why not take them to safety?  Its a mess.
Replied By: stvshan on Jan 30, 2010, 3:52PM
I know its crazy to say but I agree with almost all of what everyone is saying!!  My heart also breaks when I see these children (and adults) and my first response is send some here we have a loving home and would love to take them in.  I also see the point of view of the other people who say we need to also take care of orphans in the US and that these children in Haiti need a chance to find there loved ones if in fact they are still alive..  I can appreciate everyones point of view but as a mother my heart breaks when I see these beautiful little faces and can't even begin to understand what there little eyes have seen!!  I want ot help them soo bad but don't know what to do..  I hope this devastation makes us all appreciate what we have no matter how much and hug our little ones tighter because we never know when that earthquake will hit.  We are all humans and need to care for each other as such!!
Replied By: dieuna on Jan 29, 2010, 7:47PM - In reply to kimmcgregor
The orphanage is the first step in the process of fostering or adoption.  Helping them will speed up the process.
The focus should be on getting them all to facilities where they will be safe and cared for.   There are places that can take them in.   Secondly the staff there will be trying to figure out who is an orphan and who has parents or family elsewhere.  I would think that the more staff they can hire the more then can research the situations and file the necessary paperwork.
Replied By: tiarahaitiadpt on Jan 28, 2010, 2:15PM - In reply to jayswim10
You and you husband are just amazing people.  He is helping people everyday at his job and you have already adopted a child and would do it all over again.!   Out of such sadness there is little sparks of light and you and your husband are just that.  I am having the same discussion at my  own home that you brought up the ridiculously high cost of adopting.   I don't understand why any adoption should cost this much.  I wonder if there is a foundation that would help with the costs for families who really and truly want to adopt children.  Families who can love and care for them and most of all keep them safe.  But just cant come up  with that kind of money especially in this economy.  It is my understanding it is 20 to sometimes 60 thousand in adoption costs?! doesn't make any sense. Thank you a million times over for writing in and sharing your story. Thank you for being an amazing human with a giant heart.
Replied By: tiarahaitiadpt on Jan 28, 2010, 2:03PM - In reply to koreanmom
Hi I think that is a fair question.  I do care very much about children here in America that need to be adopted. The adoption process here in America is also a long and tiring process.  This however was not the topic on the show.  My hope is that the adoption process across the board is not so daunting and take 2 years to complete.  No child should be without a loving home.  I believe if we could ask any child who is without a home that their wish would be to have someone to love them.
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