Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why Haiti?

So, Ethiopia seems to be the "trend" in the international adoption world right now and rightfully so with the many children who need love and care there, but why were we not called to adopt from Ethiopia? Why instead are we going with Haiti? To be honest, if you truly knew the process we are going through, you might very well run the other direction and adopt somewhere else. The process through Haiti is very long and burdensome (although most international adoptions tend to have this trait). The government offices we are working with use blue ribbon tape typewriters and if they run out of tape it may take 2 weeks to get another one in. The requirements from the government are known to be ridiculous, ever-changing, and definitely expected to delay us many times along the way. There have been so many times in this process already I have said to others I truly have to stay faithful to what God is asking of me because it could be so easy to chose a different route...an easier route...or go the opposite direction and come home with too many children for what we know we can handle because they all need so much love. The journey in Haiti is not for the weary, so why would we chose this country?

Well, the best answer is that we didn't chose Haiti--God chose Haiti for us. He gave Micah the opportunity to see Haiti first-hand in April 2010 on a medical mission trip and from that opportunity, God birthed a desire and passion to give one of these beautiful little children a home full of unconditional love. When we were getting more serious about adopting, however, we gave fair consideration to all types of adopting--fostering to adopt, an American adoption, and looking at many different countries for international adoptions. We wanted to make sure we had thought through all the options and were listening to where God was leading us. Our minds and hearts consistently seemed pulled back towards Haiti though and the thought of adopting one of these children seemed natural to us. We decided to trust this as God's leading and haven't looked back since. We know our daughter is there.

If you are unfamiliar with Haiti (don't worry, I was too!) I thought it might be good to give you some facts that will help you understand the desperate need there. These are taken from Mountain Top Ministries' website--the mission organization Micah worked at. (The orphanage we are going through works hand-in-hand with MTM.) Please allow your heart to be open as you read these statistics...maybe God would stir something in your heart to help these children too.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

  • 80% live below the World Bank’s definition of poverty.
  • Average yearly income is $240.
  • 80% of the population’s average income is $100 a year.
  • $3 to $4 a day is the pay for manual labor.
  • 1% of the population would be considered “Middle Class” by the Industrialized Nation’s definition.

Haiti has limited manpower.

  • 54% Unemployment rate.
  • Average life span is under 50 years of age.
  • 50% of children die by the age of 5.
  • 45,000 children die from easily curable disease such as dehydration, diarrhea, and malnutrition.
  • 50% of the population is under the age of 18 years old.
  • A family would have to have 6 children in order to have 1 live.
  • 80% of the population is illiterate.

Haiti has limited resources

  • 1/3 of Haiti’s annual income comes through foreign aid.
  • $300 million a year has been lost in tourist trade because of the AIDS fear and the political situation.
  • In 1920, 60% of Haiti was covered by lush forest and today only 5% remains due to lack of energy and heating sources.

Can you even fathom these statistics? Do you hear the calls for help in them? My adoptive heart aches at the sound of 50% of the children dying by the age of 5. I can't imagine my life without my kids, can you? There is a huge need in Haiti, friends, and I beg you to open yourself to putting aside the next thing you think you "need" materialistically and investing that money into saving the life of someone under the age of 5 in a country not far away. There are many ways to do this, but one would be to help us with the financial end of our adoption. We have 2 weeks left until our goal date with Lifesong. We have $25,000 to raise for this adoption and we are about a 1/3 of the way there. We would appreciate your support and obviously, this little girl in Haiti--our daughter in Haiti--will appreciate your support because it will literally save her life. We are so blessed by the donations already given and know that God will indeed supply our need. He has indeed called us to Haiti for a reason who has brown skin, black hair, and a heart that needs love.

(all photos were taken from Micah's time in Haiti)


  1. Wow. 50% by 5 years old? That is astounding. How blessed is your little girl to "get" you. These stats are just heartbreaking.

  2. It'a amazing to think this is all happening not so far from US borders. I'm so glad that our family will forever be linked to this amazing country and her people through G's adoption.
    I love the photo of the 3 boys sleeping on the bed at ROH. So sweet!

  3. What a moving post! Praise God that He has set in your hearts a deep love and passion for Haiti and it's children. I truly believe that those of us who walk the adoption road prayerfully with God's guidance and wisdom will have our hearts set towards what/where He is calling us. He sets the fatherless in homes regardless of the borders, countries, or oceans they are away from us.

    And if it gives you any comfort, we were asked why not Ethiopia, China, foster care, and even why we are adopting at all :)

  4. I want you to know that God used your post on "Why Haiti" to directly answer our prayer...in the perfect timing that can only be God's providence. I will try to sum it up as consice as I can...first know that I could have written your above blog word for word as it is our strory as well.
    God laid adoption heavy on our hearts this past summer. The call was so clear that we could either say yes and be be obedient or let fear creep, say no, and walk in disobedience. Through simply allowing God to guide our next steps, we chose AGCI as our agency. We weren't sure of where to adopt from but open to wherever God would lead. God put Haiti on an IN our hearts. Little did I know how difficult this would be! So many people have asked "Why Haiti The need is great everywhere else...even here in the States...WHY this country" A fair question...and one that we have no answer to other than "God put Haiti in our hearts."
    We had to make a decsion just this weekend if we should coninue with Haiti. Our coordinator was simply being honest with the forthcoming unknowns and said it WOULD be easier to complete the adoption process in another country. We said we would pray about it. Honestly though we already knew what our answer would be... Haiti. We serve a God that is bigger than all of this...and if He put Haiti on our hearts, he already has our child named. Do we walk away and not trust NOW, just because the road will be more difficult?
    This is Saturday morning and we are giving our answer to our rep. from AGCI on Monday...I sat down this morning to google "Rivers of Hope" without any real intenton. Your blog was the first I clicked on...I read it and it was like God's confirmation. Again, it's as if I wrote it! Not only that, we don't know anyone else who is going through this journey...and it feels a bit lonely at times! As God would have it, we don't live that far away from each other as I have family in Ft. Wayne. I also have a college friend who lives in Goshen.
    I would love to talk to you/get in touch through email!
    Thank you for this...and for answering the call to adopt as God adopted us.

    1. Lane, YES, please contact me right away! We have much to talk through. I have a wealth of information I could give you, photos I could show you, and all of the other families I can connect you too who are also adopting through AGCI in Haiti. This is an amazing testimony of how God never lets us go through anything alone! I'm so blessed today to have connected to you. Can't wait to hear where you are from--there are many of us in IN who have adopted through Rivers of Hope! ;) My email is: angie_thieszen@hotmail.com.