Sunday, January 31, 2010

Together Again!!

Once we made it to Miami, we had to wait for a bit (okay a little longer than a bit) but they finally brought a very sleepy Collin to me. He has a fabulous case of scabies and a cold (yeah, I wasn't surprised either) but other than that, he seems to be doing great. It took about two minutes to make him smile and only about a half an hour for him to call me mama. He's so sweet!
Many, many thanks to the kind people at His House Children's Center who took such great care of Collin and his friends until we could get there. Especially the cute lady who greeted me and cried with me and waited so patiently for me to be able to tell her our names through my tears.
It looks like we're hanging out in Miami for at least today, and possibly tomorrow. (Stupid Pro-Bowl; normally I like it, but this year it's making it so I can't get home!)
Thank you all so much for your love and support during the last two weeks. I've felt so blessed to have so many wonderful, loving and caring people in my life. I can't wait for you all to meet my new little boy! See you all soon!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miami Here We Come...

Looks like customs has taken custody of the kids in Miami. We knew this was a possibility. Therefore I'm apparently heading to Miami... Collin and the other kids will be put in "comfortable" shelters (Don't worry, they will be bathed and fed... Did that sound a little sarcastic? No? Maybe I should try again...) until their paperwork can be processed. It could take a couple of days. I can be with him from 10-5 during the day, but I can't take him to the hotel with me. That part stinks...

My New Hero

I thought you would all like to know the name of my new hero. It's Jake Yockers. He is our hero pilot that refused to leave Haiti without our little ones. I believe the phrase "you can put those kids on the plane or a gun to my head, but those are the only two ways I'm leaving this airport" were used.

Thank you Jake for taking a stand. Thank you for making sure my baby boy was on that plane before you left. Thank you for speaking for those who couldn't speak for themselves! Thank you, thank you!

They Are In The Air!!!

Collin is coming home!!!! I have no idea where they are landing, but at least it will be on American soil!!!

Not all of our little ones were able to get on the plane. Please pray for the families that are hurting again right now. We're not done, WE WILL GET THEM HOME!

Hold Your Breath And Cross Your Fingers!

Sounds like they are being allowed to board!!!

Gotta Clear Something Up...

ABC 4 is reporting that the plane is in the air. Unfortunately, that is not correct. We are in contact with Chareyl and Team Hope on the ground. I will let you know when the news changes. The kids are at the airport and near the plane. Our pilot has already told them that he will leave one of two ways. Either the with the kids on the plane, or at gun point. There are SO many people fighting for us. We're SO close!!! :)

This Just In...

He's certainly not happy, but here he is!! I don't know that I've ever been happier to see a temper tantrum in progress!

Rapid Fire Updates

Here's what we know so far...

The pilot (my new hero) refused to leave the tarmac without the kids.
Chareyl and Team Hope have loaded all the kids on vans to take them to the airport.
They are now in a tent 100 feet from the plane waiting for final confirmation that the paperwork has been approved.

As my friend Noelle says, "if this were a movie, I would TOTALLY fast forward to the end!"

Stay tuned... And please keep the prayers coming!

I love you Collin and I WILL see you soon!!!

Getting So Close!

Hang in there little ones! We're almost there!

And THIS Is What Happens When Your Pilot Throws A Fit

"Through some sort of weird miracle.... our pilot of OUR PLANE told them he wouldn't get off the tarmac without these kids and they didn't shoot him.

I hear we have 2 hours to get Prime Minister signatures. PRAY."

I LOVE stubborn pilots!!! Please Heavenly Father, I know we've been asking all week, but one more miracle? Please?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Update

Okay, I'm blatently plagerizing from Lori's blog, but I just can't think at the moment...

"I just got off the phone with Kristen Lemieux at Congressman Rick Larsen's office. She says that the story about the PM going to Canada isn't true. She said the PM was out of the country today, but that he is meeting with the US Ambassador to Haiti tomorrow and that our children's files are their top priority.

I cried and then I told her that I really appreciated that but that until my children were on this continent I wasn't sure who to believe anymore.

So... this is why I say, "Stay put". If we can get word that they're moving we can figure out where exactly our children have been put or which shelter they are being moved to.

Stay tuned for more details."

And "tuned" I will stay. At least that part is easy; I'm sitting right next to her.

This Just In...

I don't even know what to say. We have done everything we could think of to try to make this smooth and efficient and easy on our families and, especially the children. We've found out in the last few hours that it isn't enough.

Here's the latest.

1. We all have Humanitarian Parole. Now we need the Prime Minister's signature in order for our children to be authorized to leave the country.
2. While Chareyl was at the Embassy this afternoon, they announced that the Prime Minister was leaving - for Canada. What Chareyl told me was that unless you could take someone to wherever he was immediately and stand in front of him until he chose to sign your papers, there was nothing they could do.

3. Additionally, we have been trying to make this transition as painless as possible for the children. We've been working for days with all the different agencies and departments trying to make sure we have every T crossed and I dotted.

I cannot even begin to tell you what we've been through in the last week and a half, trying to wade through the marsh of bureaucracy so that you wouldn't have to. We've tried to prep agencies and groups and make everyone aware of these children and this group and their plight. I have made the comment several times in the last week that I could not see how it was possible that I could be doing this as my volunteer full-time job for so many days and still have gov't departments give me new "requirements" and processes and signatures needed for each department to be happy.

Just a couple of hours ago, we were notified.... well, I won't even go into all the random stuff that we've been notified.

Here's the short list:
If you Child is Category II (which nearly all of us are)

When the Prime Minister or other appropriate Haitian official finally decides to sign the paperwork and our children are finally released to travel, we have no say in what happens to them for the next 2-3 days. The child will be taken to Miami and will be taken into custody of the OOR. They will take your child to a shelter in Miami. They have suggested that we do NOT arrive at the Miami Airport as you won't be able to see them there. The children will be taken via back ways to ensure that they aren't a media spectacle.
When the OOR knows when our children are arriving (because the PM has finally signed the paperwork) we'll be notified of which shelter will have them. They said they will send me out a "Welcome Letter" to tell us which hotels are in the area of the shelters where the children will be. You will be able to go and visit them and play with them during the day, but at night they will be staying at the shelter and you will be returning to your hotel. They said it typically takes 2-3 days for their process to confirm all is well with the child and that you are who you say you are, etc, etc, etc.

I tried. I really did. I am still sending them the packets that they said they could preprocess and I'm hoping that they will actually do that and that it will shorten the time your children will be in a shelter.

At this point, we have esclated to Senators Hatch and Crapo and Congressman Larsen as well as anyone else that would listen to my friend Brian at Utah - DHS. We're demanding that the US government find an alternative to the signature of a Prime Minister who obviously doesn't put the children first.

I would suggest you stay where you are for the moment. If they fix the signature fiasco and get someone else to authorize the files, we'll be on the next plane to Miami and you'll need to know which shelter your child(ren) wil be at. If they don't fix the signature fiasco, you'll need to be able to escalate and rally your local elected officials.

I think I'll start to send you some of the emails that outline what we've been through these last days. I feel like we've tried - all the way along - to do what we were asked to do and be "good citizens" and because our children weren't lucky enough to have the lousy Haitian process get them "far enough along" that our government could consider them Category I orphans. Those kids skip all this OOR shelter crap.

These poor kids have been the victim over and over and over again. They just can't catch a break. And neither can their families.

I'll keep you posted if I get any news. I wish this had worked out. We are still going to send the packets down, as I mentioned and I hope that will make things easier for your families when you do hit a border somewhere.


I really just don't know what to say at this point. He's so close. I miss him so much and I just want him home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Feelin' A Little Froggy...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my mom that I needed to change my guest bathroom into something cute and "little boy like" for Collin. A few days ago, I got home from a meeting to find this.
No matter what age you are, mom's rock (so do Grandma's)! Thanks mom! I hope to be half the mom to Collin that my mom has been to me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

And Here We Go Again...

Because we haven't been on enough of a rollercoaster....

Chareyl arrived at the Embassy today and was notified that the Haitian government has put a freeze on everything. (Anyone else smell UNICEF)

She said they told her that they cannot even give her the paperwork that has been approved until the government gives her direction.

She said that Secretary Clinton and DHS and President Preval, etc, etc are in a meeting right now trying to negotiate things.

The Embassy is turning away all people for appointments and telling them to come back tomorrow.

Chareyl says this is all very political. Haiti had lifted their exit requirements and now they've revoked that and they want to approve every child leaving.

I believe this explains why we stopped getting phone calls yesterday from DHS regarding file approvals.

I also believe there is a reason our miracle flight was arranged for THURSDAY when we wanted TUESDAY.

We need to continue to pray, folks. We need some leaders' hearts softened. We need them to be inspired to find a way for them to process their Haitian Government approval that will make them happy and that our files that are down there will meet.

We have approved I-171Hs, we have pictures of parents and passports and pictures of parents with the children. We have the proof of relationship.

Chareyl says there is NOTHING that anyone in any US government can do. This is a HAITIAN GOVERNMENT decision. It won't matter who is there. You can't fly there and make it any different than what Chareyl is getting. I know you want to DO because that's what PARENTS do.

This time all parents can do is PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. You can get mad. You can cry. Just make sure you move on to PRAY.


I think we still move forward with faith and book flights (with insurance in case we have to make a change) and move forward trusting that God will DELIVER.

I will keep you posted if I get any more information. Chareyl is going to continue to try to get into the Embassy so that the instant Haiti has a decision we can pick up our paperwork.

I'll keep you posted.


Looks like the ride's not quite over yet. :(

We Have A Plane!!!!

Here's the email we received this morning!!


We have a plane, we have a plane, we have a plane!!!!! Please stop and say a prayer of thanks.

A group that would prefer we don't mention their names has arranged a flight going into Haiti with humanitarian supplies. They have been given a slot to land on Thursday. They will unload their cargo. They will check off and load the kids. Then they are coming home to SALT LAKE CITY UTAH.

They have some doctors and nurses going down on the plane to return with the children to make sure everyone is getting everything they need as soon as possible. I told them, "They all look really healthy" and he said, 'Then they'll snuggle the children who are scared".
And then I cried a little bit more. (So did I...I think my little Collin is gonna need snuggles...)

Chareyl is at the Embassy now. She will be there all day long picking up Humanitarian Paroles. We will be notified as she gets each child's paperwork.

They're coming home, ladies and gentlemen! They're coming home!!"

I can't believe my little one will be here in just a few days! Thank you all so much for your love and support. I admit I'm a little nervous about the prospect of being a single mom, but I am so excited! There have been so many miracles in this process, I've lost count, so I know this is what Heavenly Father wants for us right now. Again, thank you all for your prayers, I couldn't have made it through this without you. The people of Haiti are still and always will be very close to my heart and they will be hurting for a long time. Please continue to remember them in your prayers!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Phone Call

What does it mean when your phone rings and the caller id says District of Columbia? It means someone at the Department of Homeland Security is working REALLY late on a Saturday night and is calling to tell you that your son has JUST BEEN GRANTED HUMANITARIAN PAROLE!!! Well, that's what it meant for me anyway... :)

Don't Worry Mommy, I'm Okay!

What an awesome thing to wake up to!
I got an email last night from Lori, who told me that her husband Brent (the human jungle gym behind Collin) rocked Collin to sleep last night! What a relief and comfort to know that Uncle Brent, Chareyl, Scott and the rest of Team Hope are there to help take care of him now. And thanks so much for the picture! I will be eternally grateful to Harry, Nadia, Abel and the others who made sure Collin was safe and stayed safe after the earthquake. Please continue to pray for them and for the others in Haiti who are still suffering. And please say a special prayer for Team Hope as they go in search of Jessica today. We need you and love you Jess!
And if you're not too tired of saying prayers on my behalf, could you also pray for my friends in France? They are having a difficult time convincing their government that their children NEED to come home. You are in my thoughts and prayers Isabelle!

Friday, January 22, 2010

They're On The Ground In Haiti!

Team "Hope" is on the ground in Haiti. It sounds like they spent the night collecting children and getting them to one central location. Chareyl is spending the day at the embassy while the rest finish getting all the kids in one place. Please keep praying specifically for the people at the embassy and that they will be able to find Jess!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Warning, Tear Jerker Ahead

Thank you for putting this together Brent and Lori!
Hope For Little Angels of Haiti/Requiem

Haiti will forever be in my thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayers Needed One More Time

I know I've been begging for your prayers in the last week, but do you mind if I ask one more time? I received this email a few minutes ago.

"Dear families,

I am getting ready to go and will be leaving basically in the middle of the night. I want to give you a heads up! We do not know for sure when we will get the kids out of the country. I need you to be prepared for a phone call that says something like this…get on a plane and meet us ________
It will be somewhere in the US, it won’t necessarily be Florida. I will try to give you a days notice but no guarantee. I have paperwork for all of you and hopefully they will let the children remain with me until you get there. But God willing it will work out that you can be there the minute the plane rolls in. I am asking you all to pray like you never have before, ask your friends and your families to pray, post away! Pray that we will find ALL of the children, that they will be OK, I know they will not be perfect, but we want them safe and together! Pray that we can get all the children to the Embassy, that all of will find safe travel there, pray that we can get into the embassy and that they will process ALL of the children that they will accept ALL the paperwork that we are bringing, and most especially pray for peace that in the end we all know that this is in God’s hands. I know without a doubt that HE can move mountains and we are asking for HIM to move mountains for us.

I love you all and consider you all my friends. I will be in touch!
Your friend,

Chareyl is an amazing woman. She is risking her health and safety to bring our children out of Haiti and into their forever families. It's been eight days since the earthquake, and the situation there is incredibly tense at best. Please Heavenly Father, watch over this little group of angels. Guide their footsteps, strengthen their bodies, remove their barriers and lighten their hearts. And PLEASE let them ALL return home soon and safely! And to the 50 littlest angels currently taking refuge in the LDS chapel in Petionville, hold on just a little bit longer. The cavalry's on its way!

Which Brought About This...

"Dear Wasatch Families,
It appears that the US government will not help with the evacuation of our children in Haiti. They have told us basically to send out orphanage directors in Haiti to the embassy and take what paperwork they can and try and get the kids a visa or Humanitarian parole. So we sent Guesno Mardy (director of Foyer) to the embassy today, he went twice with children in tow, they would not let him in, they would not help him. It has come to my attention that those orphanages that have us coordinators on the ground in Haiti are
getting Visa’s and getting Humanitarian Parole. I have confirmed that all the children that have come home so far have had US citizen’s on the ground in Haiti with experience helping them. My opinion is that when they see Haitian’s coming they think they are just trying to get out of the country themselves, I don’t know for sure this is just my opinion.
So I have decided to go to Haiti and get our children, I am going with a special group of people who are dedicated to helping me, I have a representative from Foyer going (Lindsay Crapo) and I have my special humanitarian task force going, which includes a member of the military. I have experience with the embassy I know some of the personnel, I have been there to process paperwork and feel like I will be able to get our kids out. I am currently working on how to fly the kids out of Haiti once I have them. I am pretty sure we have a plane that will fly us out, but will let you know when it is Set. We will be bringing a total of 50 kids out of Haiti. I do have a seat on a missionary plane going into Haiti on Thursday.
So what I need from each of you right now is a copy of all the paperwork you sent to USCIS Haiti, I am going to take it with me to ensure we have everything we need to get Visa’s or Humanitarian Parole, I am going to try to get as many of the kids out on a Visa as I can. If you already cc’d me when you sent it in then I have it, but many of you did not so please send it now so that we can get it printed. I am taking a lap top and when I can I will keep you posted.

Your friend,

Chareyl, you are my hero. I can't begin to thank you enough for what you are doing. Please be safe and hurry home!!!

On a side note, the donations made to Collin's orphanage were able to be delivered to Harry yesterday. That means they now have the money to buy food and gas to survive. Thank you all for your generosity!

So First There Was This...

"It is once again my job to be the barrier of bad news. Another day come and gone and no change. Despite extensive Congressional support and all of your calls to your Members of Congress we have hit roadblock after roadblock. At this point we respectfully ask that you stop contacting your Members of Congress requesting their assistance with obtaining security, transportation, and water for the location. The Department of State has not and apparently will not provide the small assistance that we have requested.

Given the current circumstances, at this point we are recommending that someone from each orphanage escort the children who qualify for humanitarian parole or adoption visas to the U.S. Embassy in Port-A-Prince. We recommend that the orphanage staff arrive with the children and any adoption paperwork that has not been destroyed as early as possible in the morning in order to attempt to obtain visas or parole for the children. Please understand that this option may not be considered safe and that the U.S. Embassy did not allow some orphanages onto the premises today. Additionally, please note that it has been reported that there is no food, water or facilities for the children to use while at the Embassy. As noted during our conference call earlier today, these are our recommendations only and should not be used to replace your or your orphanage director's good judgement.

It is our understanding that any children processed by USCIS in Port-A-Prince are leaving on U.S. cargo jets to locations that are not often know until a hour or so before the flight leaves. At times children have left Haiti without the knowledge of their adoptive parents.

This is currently the worst case scenario for the children's well-being and safety but at the moment there are no other options.

As we receive more information we will continue to share it with you. While the situation at the moment is terrible I can only hope that our collective efforts produce some positive news. Despite the roadblocks Joint Council has not given up on the save haven and we continue to advocate for its creation and a more transparent and safe process in uniting these children with their adoptive families.

Rebecca - JCICS"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Awesome News... Part Two: Collin Is Safe!!!

Just got this email:

"Thank you Tia and you better be sitting down….Nadia has Collin, yes you heard me right, she has him!! Now we just have
To get your boy home!!
Love you,

Thank you so much for all of your love and support! I can't wait for you all to meet him! Please keep praying for Jessica, Abie, Joey and Jordan. We need them found before this miracle can be complete!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Awesome News!

I just received this email from Chareyl. We're almost there! Now PLEASE Heavenly Father, help us find Collin, Nathan, Jessica, Abie, Joey, Jordan, Jean Tony, Vania and Zabrie be found safe and soon!

We are bringing the kids home!!
Secretary Napolitano has announced humanitarian parole for orphaned Haitian children.
Please see the attached documents, which detail the announcement and fact sheet.
I will keep you posted as we receive information on how the children will be taken
To the embassy and how we will get them out of the Haiti.
This is the best news ever! I feel so much gratitude for everyone that has made this
Come together!!
Chareyl Moyes"

And The Torture Continues...

I received this email this morning. Collin's French name is Olivier.

Dear Hope Families,
I just received word from Harry early this morning on the children. Again the messages are incomplete and very
Short. But apparently all the children are not together. Harry has not been able to reach Abel so
We don’t know if some of the children are with him, but he gave me a list of the children that are
Not with Nadia. Again, I am assuming the rest of the children ARE with her. He is going to try and reach Nadia today
And get all the children with her and take them to the church where he can care for them. He will also
try and locate the rest of the children. I know this will be hard to read if your child is on the list below,
but please know that we don’t have all the information Yet. However hard I want to give the information as I receive it.

As I understand it, these are the children not with Nadia:

Jean Tony

We need to pray hard to find these children, everyone get your friends and family to pray.
I will continue to be vigilant in getting information.
My heart is with all of you!

Please continue to pray for all of these little ones.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Little More News

Here's a little more news:

"As you know we have confirmation that Harry is in an LDS church in PetionVille, all the children living in the orphanage with him were evacuated safely. The mounting concerns now are that PetionVille is in the mountains and it has been difficult to get aid to them. Harry said that there is food to purchase and even gas for his truck, but he has no money. And because PetionVille is in the mountains it has been difficult for rescue teams to get to them. Harry says that if he could get some gas in his car he could try to find Nadia and the foster kids. He would also be able to buy food and supplies, there is some available to purchase (although the prices are astronomical) but the banks are shut down and there is no way to get money. I am happy to tell you that we have found a way to get money to Harry! We have a friend (via Shannon Cox, who will be traveling to Haiti tomorrow with a special medical team put together by the LDS church. Dr. Jeremy Booth has agreed to take the money to Harry. He is an ER doctor, speaks fluent Creole and loves the Haitian people. They have been trying to fly out for several days but because of flight restrictions but hope to fly out tomorrow. The hope for the little angels team is out getting a substantial amount of cash right now to send with Dr. Booth. I know this money will be critical in helping to find and feed our children.
I want to tell each of you thank you, it is because of so many of you and your contributions
That the hope organization has funds to send down.
I will keep you posted, please pray that Dr. Booth is able to reach Harry with the funds!!
Your friend,

Joint Counsil Email

This is an excerpt from an email I received from the Joint Council this morning...

"Humanitarian Parole
It is the position of Joint Council that the U.S. government should immediately grant humanitarian parole to all Haitian children being adopted by a U.S. family. At present, Joint Council is appealing with the U.S. government, specifically the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to issue humanitarian paroles for any child that has been referred to an American family. If DHS issues humanitarian paroles, the children would not need a visa to enter the U.S. and be united with you. This would minimize the paperwork and possibly eliminate the need to find documents, which have been destroyed in the earthquake. Given the urgent needs of the children and the fact that they have you, we believe that humanitarian parole is the most humane solution. We will continue to work this weekend and into next week to achieve this goal. Again, please remember that at this time, we do not have confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security regarding humanitarian parole, but we are working towards that goal.

From our many, many meetings with Members of Congress, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, we feel that you should know that your government is working very hard to find a solution which will help get your children into the safe, permanent and loving setting of your family."

Please join me in praying for those petitioning for and those making these critical decisions.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Latest News

This isn't much, but it at least we know that at least some of the kids are okay.

"Dear Hope Waiting Families,
I just received first hand news from Haiti just a few minutes ago from Harry Mardy. Both Harry and his brother Guesno are okay. Harry has not been able to reach Nadia the orphanage director. He did get in touch with one of the Nannies at the new orphanage and all the kids there are okay. As you know Hope for the little Angels was in the process of moving to another city and another orphanage. We know that some of the children were still at the old orphanage, I do not have word on these children and I do not have the names of these children. Also we had a couple of kids in foster care and I have no word on those kids. Harry did say that him mother did not make it and his sister Kenia did not make it. I think that some of you have met Kenia she has come to the hotel during the parent trips with Harry's wife Pascal. I am so grateful for the news we received today and I will continue to pass on information to you as I get it.
Your adoption coordinator and friend,

I don't know for sure which orphanage Collin was in at the time of the quake. I'm hoping it's the new one. My heart breaks for Harry and his family. He's such a good man and does so much to make sure that Collin and the other children are taken care of.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Is Torture

I don't know if Collin is okay. Our coordinator has not been able to reach our contacts in Haiti. Below is a picture of the Presidential Palace posted on Twitter. It used to stand across the street from our hotel. There is a large park next to the Palace where the homeless sleep. Please pray for them.

I don't know if the hotel is still standing. These shanty's used to stand in the hills behind the hotel. I'm fairly certain they are gone. Please pray for those who used to call them home.

My thoughts turn to our friends at the hotel. Those who took care of us and drove us around the city. I pray they are safe. I pray that someday I'll know what happened to them. I think of my sweet new friend Ralph and his family. I don't know where they live or if they are okay.

My heart is breaking for my sweet little Collin. I can't imagine how scared he is. I'm angry that I can't be there to hold him and tell him it's going to be okay. Please pray for my sweet little boy and for all of the children at the orphanage. Please Heavenly Father, protect and comfort these little ones and some how make it possible for them to come home to us soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I don't speak Haitian Creole very well (but I'm working on it) and Collin doesn't speak English at all.
Good thing some things are universal!

Pay no attention to me. Haitian humidity + no flat iron = several bad hair days for Tia. It's okay, Collin makes up for it!
If you're trying to view this via Facebook, you may have to go to my actual blog in order to see it. The address is under my info tab. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Try Walkin' A Mile In These Moccasin's

The first time I met Collin, our friend Nichole told me that he had been born in these sandals. I thought she was kidding. Then I saw this.

Notice Collin is barely sitting up by himself, but there are his trusty sandals, about twice the size of his feet.

He has grown into them. Sort of. His cute little chicken legs are not strong enough to lift them off the ground. I do have another pair that are a little easier for him to maneuver. On the other hand, these do give me better odds of catching him when he decides to run off for one more lap around the pool...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ever Had One Of Those Days?

Some times you just gotta get away for a while. Even if it's just under a bucket! :)