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Stories From Haiti: How People Are Coming Together To Help Each Other


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Jenna Bluehut
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« on: January 18, 2010, 09:38:10 pm »

Laura T. Coffrey, Todayshow.com editor, writes that 254 Haitian children are currently in the process of becoming adopted by U.S. families. The earthquake on January 12 was a living nightmare for these families who feared for their childs' lives, well being and the possibility of never seeing them again.

These adoptive parents already feel bonded to their children because the Haitian adoption agencies match up children and future parents very early on, allowing parents to visit Haiti and meet with their child for up to three weeks.

Jennett Benedict from California describes her reaction when she heard about the earthquake. Benedict is in the process of adopting a 2-year-old girl from Haiti.

    I was just shaking...Just hysterical. Just -- I don't think there's any way I can describe it.

Many families like Benedict's don't know if their child survived the earthquake. They describe waiting, calling and praying that their children are safe. Parents who have learned that their child survived fear for their child's health with the lack of food and water available. Also, parents fear that the lengthy adoption process already existing between Haiti and America will be exacerbated.

Many parents who have legally adopted their children are asking Members of the House and Senate to issue visas and passports to bring their children to the United States. Jennett Benedict is one of these parents. Her little girl, Lovely, was awaiting a Haitian passport in order to receive a visa to come to the United States. Obtaining a passport right now in Haiti seemed like a completely impossible endeavor to Benedict but she has recently received good news that The State Department might begin issuing visas to children like Lovely.

Lovely's case is extremely urgent. She is two years old and because of malnourishment weighs only 15 pounds. With the shortage of food and water in Haiti, the Benedicts are very eager to bring her to the United States where she can be cared and provided for.

In 2007, there were approximately 380,000 orphans in Haiti.

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