It’s not about our need for information, it’s about their need for safety. More on the Bresma Orphans of Haiti.

standard January 18, 2010 3 responses

For many reasons I’ve been beyond overwhelmed these last few weeks, so when I first heard about the Haiti earthquake I refused to focus on it. First, I can only handle so much earthquake disaster information before I start to get paranoid and wonder how much water we have in the house and where I should stash extra diapers, Second, I selfishly didn’t have the emotional bandwidth for it.

Plus, I’ll admit it, I didn’t quite realize the damage an earthquake can cause on a poverty stricken island.

Then, late Thursday night, a friend pointed me to this site and despite being exhausted I stayed up way too late reading everything I could about the plight of the orphans of Bresma.

I just keep thinking of the parents who were weeks away from flying to Haiti to go collect the children they have been in the process of adopting for years. They love these babies. And they’re a world away from them, unable to stop their suffering. As a mom it kills me. If C and Little L were starving, parched, and sick, not to mention terrified and in mortal danger, and I couldn’t get to them? I’d be going insane.

This story tugged at my heartstrings. I did what tiny bit I could for these 150 orphans and their two American caregivers. I donated money to their church and started spreading the word on Twitter and to all the online mom’s groups I’m a part of.

By the next day information about the orphanage was flying around the world. People were rushing to do their part – big or small. For a while it seemed like we were helping – planes were found, CNN went to visit them, politicians and Hollywood stars were getting involved.

And then news stopped arriving from the orphanage. People started wondering at the lack of information, at the cloak and dagger actions, at the conflicting reports. People hungry for news spread any information they heard, whether it was accurate or not. And sadly much of what was reported was inaccurate. Even what was reported by CNN.

The problem with the Internet is that it makes us used to instant gratification. We order books and get them the next day, we order movies and get them that very second, we even reach out to a friend and get a speedy reply. So the frustration of not seeing efforts rewarded with instant fixes leads to unrest.

I’m not saying I know what’s really going on either in Haiti or at Bresma. I can’t fathom what’s happening over there. But I can wrap my brain around the fact that the #1 concern of the people over there isn’t to reward the Internet with play by play reports of what’s happening., it’s to keep themselves and the kids safe.

So if texting, tweeting, or blogging their location, their status, what supplies they have, or any of that might put them at risk from looters, I’m fine with not knowing. This isn’t about my need to know, this is about kids and people struggling to stay alive in a world that is getting scarier by the moment.

We all just need to be patient and do what we can to help, even if that means sitting still, not sharing information that hasn’t been verified, and not spouting off when our curiosity isn’t instantly  fed.

Key Bresma Links: 
To learn more about the Bresma Orphans:  That’s Church
To stay updated with verified information as it becomes available:  Jane Pitt’s Twitter Stream or the Let’s Help Them Get Out of Haiti Facebook page.
Very recent interview with a person who works with the orphanage: http://www.wpxi.com/news/22261745/detail.html

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3 responses

  • Scott Simmons

    Thank you. I hope others will take your message to heart, and consider the potential impact of any tweet or post they might make… and also remember the requests from the family and their direct representatives:

    “We can only report what will not endanger efforts to secure their eventual evacuation. When this saga is over, the story will come out and I believe it will help you understand why things are working the way they are right now. Operating in a land of chaos means occasional chaos on our end.”

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