Good Morning! So let me begin by sharing the story of Gesno's brother...(Gesno is the director of the orphanage.) He has actually been on TV a couple times since the earthquake. His name is Hans Mardy. He was the one that responded to the horrible remarks that Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson made about Haiti.....(You can see his response on the sidebar). Take a minute to view it. It is so inspiring! He was also interviewed by Larry King. Trevor and Lindsay know and love this man. They have gotten to know Gesno's family over the last couple years. After their amazing flight...(a story for another time), they landed in Haiti. As they stepped out of the plane, there sitting on the floor was Hans. Neither one had any idea that they would be there but it just happened that they ran into each other at the airport. Lindsay said she ran up to him with tears in her eyes and gave him a huge hug. She said it was such a blessing to see him. As they left the airport she said they walked around a building that was still standing and as they walked around the building suddenly this vast abyss of destruction was as far as the eye could see. I asked her what it was like. She said "You know it is bad. You see it on TV. It looks horrible on TV. If you take the images you see on TV and times it by a thousand it still doesn't compare."
Trevor and Lindsay traveled to the orphanage to see their children. They said they look good and were so relieved to touch them and hug them. Trevor stayed at the orphanage with all of the children and Lindsay and one of the other women she was with went to the Embassy to begin the process of the kids release. Lindsay said there were what looked like thousands of people outside of the Embassy. As they went inside she said hundreds of children are LIVING inside Embassy. Soldiers are bringing them food and water. I know we have all heard this but remember that over 50% of Haitians are children under the age of 18. The number of children that have no family has increased significantly. These children have nowhere to go. No one to take care of them physically but even worse, no one to take care of them emotionally. They must be so traumatized. Haiti will need our love, support and prayers for MANY years to come.
She said it was so heartbreaking. People were begging them to help them get out of Haiti and there was nothing she could do to help them.
As they met with the woman at the Embassy, she (the Embassy worker), took the stack of paperwork that they had prepared for each child. She was stunned at the organization of the paperwork. She said that if everyone would be able to be as organized as they were it would completely change the time it is taking to process the humanitarian parole. She then told Lindsay that it would be significantly faster if they had also had wallet size photos of each of the 50-60 children they were trying to process. Well....during Christmas, Lindsay had made little ornaments with all of the children's pictures on them. She had duplicates of most of the pictures and she just happened to grab them on her way out of her house and put them in here backpack. She opened her backpack and pulled out all the pictures for all but about 10 of the children. The woman was amazed.
They will be meeting again early next week to hopefully finalize the paperwork. We are hoping that by mid week they will be home.
Lindsay said they are sleeping outside in sleeping bags on the "driveway" of the orphanage. She had rice for dinner and was exhausted by the end of the day. Trevor told my Mom that this has forever changed his life. He said, "You know Mom, in America we spend our lives focused on trying to get a better job, make more money and trying to get better things." That is not important. It's just not important. I am forever changed."
I am so proud of Trevor and Lindsay. I too have forever changed. I have not experienced this tragedy at the same level as Trevor and Lindsay but we should all be forever changed by the small window that we have been looking through on TV. We are all one big family and this is really happening. It is happening as we sit in our nice warm homes. As we sit on our comfortable sofas, eat our warm tasty food and crawl into our cozy beds at night. Even without a roof over our head and food in our bellies, we are in paradise compared to what they are going through. I hope we never forget.