Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Haitian Adoption...

(She had some great pics of Jonas, but I cannot copy and paste them...)
Haiti quake speeds adoption for some
City family has been going through process for 2 years
of The News-Sentinel

Rebekah Hubley holds out her hands to her son, Jonas, who, at age 4, is learning to walk. With a smile and some encouragement, Jonas takes seven steps toward his mother.

“Oh, that's great, Jonas. That's the farthest you have gone yet,” said Hubley, laughing.

The past two years have been an uphill climb for the Haitian-born orphan, who has special needs. The Hubleys, a family of six including Jonas, are still in the process of adopting him from a private Christian orphanage in Haiti, “God's Little Angels.”

Eighty-three children from the orphanage were flown to Miami on Thursday night to go to families that had already started the adoption process.

“Some of those people only got their adoption decrees at Christmas,” said Hubley. Because of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince that killed an estimated 200,000 and left 400,000 homeless, the agency is bringing the children to the United States to finalize their adoptions. The orphanage needs space for all the new orphans they are expecting from the earthquake.

“You never get a Haitian baby anymore; the adoption process takes too long,” said Hubley. “If parents are really lucky, they might get a child when they are a toddler, and that's if you started the process when they were a baby.”

The orphanage is in the mountains above Petionville north of Port-au-Prince and missed the full strength of the quake. All Jonas' adoption paperwork is now buried in the rubble of the Haitian government building in Port-au-Prince. There are nine steps parents must go through in adopting a child from Haiti, and the Hubleys, after two years, were only on the third.

Fortunately, Jonas has been in Fort Wayne for the past two years on a medical visa. Rebekah Hubley has been in touch with the orphanage, which is still standing; all its children and staff are safe. A staff member who was outside the building when the quake struck said the building swayed at least two feet in both directions. Nannies and children inside were knocked off their feet. Food for dinner flew off the stove; amazingly, all the eggs in the kitchen pantry remained unbroken.

The Web site of the orphanage says prospective parents interested in adopting will need to wait until things in Haiti are straightened out. Hubley said the orphanage doesn't want a child adopted to the U.S. before the child's parents or relatives can be located. The earthquake may only have made the child an orphan through separation.

An added complication for Hubley is the nonprofit agency, Hands That Heal, which she and a friend started through her church, Avalon Missionary, 1500 Lower Huntington Road. The agency, which offers free medical treatment for orphaned Haitian children, is based at the church but is not a part of it. She is anticipating an influx of children who will need their stateside services.

American doctors and hospitals donate their time and services to help. The agency connects the children with doctors and hospitals, and finds a host family while the child is stateside. Their first patient came in February 2008. People in Haiti know about them through “Gods Little Angels” Orphanage, word of mouth and through a larger agency that has its own medical clinic in Haiti.

Currently, Hands that Heal has five children here; one child went back just before the earthquake. Hubley has been talking with Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd District, and staff member Kathy Green, trying to work out the snags.

“There were medical visa kids who were getting ready to come over, and they are stuck,” said Hubley. On the flip side, she noted there are also children here who were ready to go back and are now stuck in the States.

The first child they had through their program in 2008 is now 2, and Hubley has no idea whether the little girl made it through the earthquake.

“Someone said this is a country of such dichotomy - you have the poor and you have the rich, and the earthquake did not discriminate. The poor really fared better than the rich because they lived in shacks of tin and mud, which collapsed around them, not like the heavy cement block buildings,” said Hubley.

Hands that Heal
If you would like to learn more about Hands that Heal or make a donation, go to or contact Rebekah Hubley at Checks can be made to Avalon Missionary Church, 1500 Lower Huntington Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46819-1361.

No comments: