January 20, 2010
Posted: 02:57 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet is safe, but they are still desperately trying to bring him home. They will be documenting their journey and updating the LKL blog regularly on their progress. To read their first blog entry, click here.
We aren’t together and everything we talk about on the phone is focused to this effort. We haven’t even had the chance to ask how the other is doing. It all happens so fast and things have changed significantly each time we talk on the phone. We are 100% focused on getting supplies to God’s Littlest Angels orphanage and getting the orphans kids out of Haiti. One of us is in Miami, bound for Port-au-Prince, while the other is en route to Miami.
The past 48 hours have been overwhelming. Things are literally changing by the minute. I have never endured such waves of emotions (and I have been through some tough stuff in life). I am tired. I have probably gotten five hours of sleep in the past 48 hours. I am doing my best to stay focused though, so that I can be effective. I am physically and emotionally exhausted.
I am in the air as I type, flying to Miami. And I cannot get there fast enough. A combination of media and political efforts, tied together with what we are working on with God’s Littlest Angles/charter flights meant I needed to get a plane ticket late last night. I wasn’t sure if I would be using it or not, and I was half expecting to get a call this morning to cancel or hold off.
My specific prayer was that if it wasn’t meant to be, something would prevent the flight from leaving or there would be some other barrier. However, nothing prevented me from getting on the plane at 6am out of Portland.
But being away from the internet and communications today was the worst thing that could occur. Decisions are being made within the U.S. government, my husband was about to fly to Haiti and I still am not sure I have sent all the correct documents to the Joint Council for my case (although I was proactive in planning and had most everything ready to send, knowing I would be getting that notice).
However, this whole week has been perfectly orchestrated in what I know God has had his hand in. Even getting on the plane and realizing it was a flight with internet access! I was able to send urgent emails and get the text message from Joe at the time he was about to take off for Port-au-Prince.
When I landed in Atlanta for my layover, I had some urgent messages about the possibility of being involved with taking care of some of the orphans who are in dire need. So I had to find some “friends of friends” to gather supplies for them, just in case it does happen (my assumption this week is that nothing is 100%). And we are still working every angle we can for God’s Littlest Angles to get the kids OUT. We have plan A, B, C, etc. We are working non-stop with all the contacts we have, both politically and logistically.
I have no idea what the next 24-48 hours hold, but I have a feeling it’s going to be the most stressful (and hopefully best) days of my life. If we get the kids into the United States, I will be in overjoyed with emotion and tears. But we NEED the U.S. government to step and give the clearance. We have verbal approvals, but not to the exact file requirement details. And the logistics of caring for the kids once they are in the U.S. are still TBD (although I understand there may be a plan in the works). At this point, we just GET THEM HOME. I know organizations would come out of the woodwork to help. Just get the kids to safety and grant them citizenship. Why are we not putting human life above process?
These are crazy times. I stayed up late last night working on the video I had taken. I feel compelled to help share our story and video/pictures are critical to sharing the messages with people.
This morning, we spent our time loading the supplies and have been working with contacts in Haiti and D.C. to make some headway on the decisions that are being made about the children. I cannot believe I am in the midst of a disaster such as this.
We loaded several tons of items that are to source God’s Littlest Angels orphanage and the surrounding town. It looked like a lot but in reality, it is only about 10 days worth of supplies. Mission of Mercy doctors and nurses will be on our plane and have been invaluable with the loading effort.
We are still working through various strategies for what happens when we land. We may be in the unique position to help get some children out, but we can do nothing without the U.S. government making some decisions. It feels so wrong to me. Get these kids home. They are all orphans; they have been given over to the orphanage by the parents, or it was proven they have no parents. These are the kids who have had parents waiting in the wings for up to two years!
I don’t know what I am about to face in Haiti. I have been going too fast to even think about what I will see and experience.
Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
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