I can't even begin to tell you how many people have emailed me, sent me facebook messages and called/texted to ask me what they should do about beginning to adopt from Haiti. I have responded to a few, but most of them have gone unanswered. Not because I'm being mean or don't care to answer them, but I just didn't know what to say to them. Keep in mind I am not an adoption case worker. I don't work for an agency. I am just a mom that has two kids from Haiti, cares about Haiti and has spent the last 2.5 years trying to get her kids home.
Here is my answer to the question should I adopt from Haiti?
The truth is that adoption from Haiti before the earthquake was a miserably long process and now it is unthinkable to think they could just pick back up and start processing adoptions.
The buildings are gone.
The papers are gone.
The country is destroyed.
There is no infrastructure
There are ethical ways that adoptions must be done in adoptions and until they can verify that a kid has no parents it is unethical just to ship them off to America to be adopted into a better life. 🙂
I read on adoption.com that all Haitian adoptions are stopped. I read on God's Littlest Angels website that they are not taking applications until the government opens up adoptions again. This website listed Haiti as not open now. My friend Christine wrote a great post about adopting from Haiti. This is my favorite line from her post, “The children of Haiti deserve our effort, our voices, our understanding … and our patience.” Go read her post, it's much better than mine!
So all this to say, if you feel as though God has stirred something in your heart about adoption from Haiti since the earthquake I would encourage you to do a few things. #1 Pray about whether you feel as though you should wait on Haiti (which might be a long time) or whether or not God has put this in your heart to help the orphans of the world and not necessarily Haiti. God could have used this tragedy to do something in your heart about adoption. There are millions upon millions of children in need of homes. Maybe God is moving you to adopt a child from Ethiopia, Russia, Rwanda, India, Uganda, or maybe even right here in the US out of the foster system. #2 Use this time to prepare your heart and family for adoption. Adoption is hard and taxing on the whole family. Prepare for this. Read books about this. Talk to others that have walked this road. Search for agencies that meet your standards. #3 PRAY for Haiti. God has stirred your heart for this country and the truth is that it will take YEARS and YEARS for this place to get back on its feet, if it ever was to start with. There are amazing people there that are serving the Haitian people diligently. Maybe God is leading you to support their ministries. Maybe God is leading you to sponsor a child through Compassion International.
So, those are my very uneducated opinions about starting an adoption in Haiti. I do not know of one agency that is taking applications. I would guess that they won't be for a while. I'm begging you to think of possibly taking that desire that God has given you and search other countries that have orphans that are in need of families to love them and raise them.
Great word Jamie. Both discerning and loving. BH
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Wow–Our family spent over a month in Haiti in July/August 2009.
We are an adoptive family of a now 5 year old cleft son from China. The kids at the orphange called him Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee.
You are sooo right. Please support Compassion–and follow God’s leading to adopt where adoption can make a difference, otherwise advocate, minister, provide relief effort . . . .just do not sit and watch CNN. The emergency in Haiti did NOT start with the earthquake!! Support ministries that have been on the ground making a difference for over 10 years like http://www.danitaschildren.org There are many–God will be glorfied and may He use us . . . .me.
Thanks Brandon, Russ & Tim – I hope that people do realize that yes the disaster in Haiti began long before January 12th. God is using this earthquake to open people’s eyes and I love that. I pray that people will allow God to guide their heart to support ministries there, pray for them, and possibly adopt from somewhere else RIGHT NOW!
Thanks for the word Jamie. I am one of those who posted…but I think our hearts are more bent towards ‘we will go where God has planned for us to go’. I am not about to make a knee jerk reaction and not seek the counsel of our Father as to whether or not we’re doing the or going to the right place. Life is hard enough, bringing in a child from another country…harder…not seeking God as to whether or not that is even where we should land…don’t even want to think about it.
Thanks again for your insight. Still praying for you and your family.
I have to admit my husband and I are such a couple that have not thought about adoption until seeing the need in Haiti. We already support RHFH and have two Compassion children. The devastation makes me want to run down to Haiti and just save one of them from experiencing that. Thank you for any wisdom/advice. We will continue praying about what this tugging means.
Thanks SO much Jamie for your timely and wise comments! You never know how God might use your words as well as the situation in Haiti to push hearts to adopt one of the 150,000 children (babies to 18 year olds) right here in the US that are in need of forever families. I don’t think people associate the word “orphan” with children in foster care whose parental rights have been terminated…but they ARE orphans and as I have gotten to know many of them- they desperately want and deserve (and need) a family!
On a personal note, I was so excited that Caryl got to meet you at the conference! She is my BFF and helps me with everything I do! She absolutely loved Austin Stone- we’re hoping we can both come to the orphan conference in the fall with The Middle Mom 🙂
So proud of you!
Christie – i was also so excited to meet Caryl and was telling her how much I loved your book. I’m hoping that you guys get to come as well. What fun! Hopefully you and I will meet soon!
Well said, Jamie. I appreciate your focus on ethical adoption. During the media coverage of the American missionaries attempting to take the kids into the DR, I was struck by one of the parents saying they were sending their kids to be adopted so they’d have a better life and education. Alongside adopting, I think it’s imperative that we work to strengthen communities so that parents don’t feel compelled to give away their kids so they’ll have a decent shot at health and education. There’s a creepy neocolonialism to that.
In response to these notes,we have adopted 2 boys 7 and 8(then),9 and 10 (now).My husband is a teacher and had one of our sons in his class who was going to have to move to another foster home.we found out and God asked us to adopt him and his brother! That was almost 2 years ago…we are their forever family—they needed us and we needed them,it added to our family! we have 3 biological daughters who are a little older—we are wanting to adopt again!
Well said Jamie. I am a foster Mom here in the US and we have started the process of adopting one of our kiddos. I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m not sure why people aren’t getting it. I know their hearts are being stirred but if their hearts are being stirred by God, then they need to seek his counsel. I am pretty certain he wouldn’t be saying start an adoption in Haiti…because there is no adoption program in Haiti….right now. I’m glad you directed them to search their hearts about other orphans. The need is soooo great and God will direct them…if they seek HIS heart and not their own.
Oh how I pray all those willing people WILL actually step out in faith and give a child/ren a home!
Thank you for these words! So many people have asked me about adopting from Haiti and I haven’t known what to tell them except to check your blog and to see what you’re saying – so now I will be referencing this post often!! On another note, you guys are “officially” famous – a couple of the Rwanda blogs have posted Amos Song from YouTube and have been talking about how awesome your family is, and of course how amazingly cute your kids are.
Good post. Thanks for putting your thoughts on paper. We (at Hope for Orphans) put up a post a couple weeks back talking about some of the same things. Lots of similarities between your thoughts & ours.
Sorry if this letter finds you crazy busy and adds to your craziness. My husband and I met you at your sons fall festival because our church meets in his school. We recognized your husband because our previous youth group were in love with his music. Well when we met your family we were overwhelmed and asked a few questions because we have a heart to adopt. I’m writing to ask what agency you decided to go through and maybe insight as to why you choose them. We are going to the adoption conference next Sat. and have been in prayer since the summer on this situation. We also ran into Aaron’s drummer while we just began apartment life and had been hearing about Amos and praying continuously for your family. So, sorry to bother you again, but if you can inform me about how you began your process it might be helful to me. Thank you for your time and heart.
Thanks so much for your thoughts, Jaime. I’m Jen, a friend of Howertons and a blog hopper. My hub and I have considered adoption (possibly Haiti) for years and the earthquake DID renew our desire for this life adventure. But, as you said, the door to Haiti is closed. So we’re now applying to adopt from Thailand. I’m reading blogs like yours and soaking up information and stories like a sponge. Thanks for sharing the wonderful and challening side of adoption. You’re leading the way! I also love anytime you recommend books. Knowledge is power! Thanks again.