This is Maggie, Lori's mom, again. I have hijacked her blog because I want to try to let you see a teeny peek at what has been happening at Team Hope Central for the last couple of weeks, and especially the last couple of days.
First, remember that the majority of folks who have been doing all of the support work for the members of Team Hope do not do this for a living. That goes for many of those on the ground in Haiti, taking care of a very large number of children who are sleeping on the ground or on cement because "there is no room in the inn"...the orphanage Foyer de Sion has at least 200 more children now than they did 16 days ago. There are some VERY understanding bosses who have let us (I'm one of the newer members of this support team) take time away from our regular jobs to do anything and everything we can possible think of that might make it easier for our babies to get on the plane that is going to Haiti....hopefully soon.
I'm sitting in a room that has four computers and three printer/scanners and tables stacked with files for each family and each child in each family. Every printer has gone through at least one set of ink cartridges. In the last two days! We've (and that is a number of people between 5 and 10, depending on time of day and who is available) been creating paper files for one government entity, and electronic files for another government entity - both from our country but apparently not allowed to talk to each other! That is the only reason I can see for two different formats!
We have been pouring over emails and faxes from those families I just mentioned to collect the needed documents that they have scrambled to get to us.
As I type, there are phone calls and email both coming from and going to every government agency you can possibly imagine that might have any influence on whatever road blocks we have tried to anticipate. If we can strike first, and get the solution started, it might make it easier for kids to get home.
One of my reasons for writing this post is to make you aware that Lori, who is spearheading the support from here, has hardly stopped to eat or sleep in the last 16 days! As her mother, I am proud, impressed, amazed, and in awe of this woman. She prays, worries, and prays some more, for every family that might be connected with this longed-for flight home. She knows the names of your children as well as she does her own Nathan and Jessica.
There are some amazing people who have joined us in these gigantic endeavor. Brian Hyer, of the Department of Homeland Security, working out of Salt Lake City is the embodiment of Superman, the Energizer Bunny, and that snuggly little Downy Fabric Softener bear. His endless efforts to anticipate what will be needed, and how can it be provided have made me want to start a Brian Hyer Fan Club! Anyone interested in posters, maybe?
The offices of Senator Crapo, from Idaho, and Senator Hatch, from Utah have been diligent in keeping us informed of any progress they have been able to make. Congressman Larsen, from Washington State is another friend who has been working overtime for us.
Team Hope on the ground in Haiti has done a yeoman effort to get the needed visas from the US Embassy...Chareyl Moyes has been at the embassy every day, standing in unimaginable lines, doing everything she knows to get approval for travel for these kids. Then, she goes back and sleeps on the cement with the kids every night. I've heard from Chareyl and Brent that, as difficult as it is to sleep on the ground, it's more difficult when the continuing aftershocks cause the children to panic. Can we possibly imagine the terror these little ones experience when the ground moves yet again?
Some day, maybe you will hear what has really gone on the last couple of weeks! This has been a carnival ride of grand proportions. "Please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times"
Until then, please continue to pray. Pray that multiple agencies will learn to play nicely together in the sandbox (a phrase Lori has used more than once this morning). Pray that the Prime Minister will be more concerned about children's welfare than his political image. Pray that the children will continue to have food and water. Pray that the parents will have patience, especially if this takes longer than we want it to. Pray that Haiti will be able to rebuild. And, while you are at it, offer prayers of gratitude for Team Hope.