The Kinches sorted children’s clothes and cleaned their Colorado Springs home Wednesday to prepare for the arrival of their three adopted children from Haiti.
“We believe that God set us up with these children,” Amy Kinch said. “We pray for them every day.”
But the couple’s joy over having their kids home months earlier than planned was tempered with concern. “We’ve been on a roller-coaster ride of emotion these past few days,” Amy said. “We are worried for the health and safety of our children.”
Because of last week’s earthquake in Haiti, U.S. and Haiti officials have expedited parole visas for about 900 of the Haitian children who are being adopted, of which roughly 50 are going to Colorado adoptive families. Haiti adoptions usually take years to finalize, but government actions could mean most of the Haitian orphans are with families in days or weeks.
Twelve Springs families are adopting 18 Haitian orphans from the Maison des Enfants de Dieu orphanage, one of about 200 in the Haiti. The State Department said Wednesday it will process the 133 children from Maison des
Enfants today, then place them on cargo jets bound for a U.S. city the department would not reveal.
Eleven of the Springs families, including the Kinches, are hoping to fly out this week to the unspecified city to greet their children.
But families aren’t letting their hopes rise too high.
The State Department promised early this week, for example, to process the Maison des Enfants children at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, but red tape got in the way, said Linda Kohn, a Springs resident who founded an organization that finds homes for Maison des Enfants orphans.
Meanwhile, food and medical supplies are running low at Maison des Enfants, Kohn said, and three walls of the orphanage are down. Looting has been reported.
Paul and Amy Kinch are worried for the health and safety of their Haitian children, Wadnise, 9, Djimmy, 7, and Stanley, 4, who are siblings.
The Kinches are also trying to adjust to suddenly having three more children in the household. The couple already have two biological children, ages 9 and 12.
“It is a stressful time for us,” Amy Kinch said. “We are struggling financially to be ready for these additional children, and when we’ll see them keeps changing all the time.”
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has been fighting to bring the Haitian orphans home to Colorado adoptive families, but he continues to run into snags. “Despite my repeated requests, I’m extremely disappointed that the State Department has failed to coordinate efforts to help get children to their adoptive parents,” Udall said in a statement Wednesday.
Before the quake, Keith and Tana Karr of Colorado Springs had expected to have 2-year-old Christela and 3-year-old Ludmeria in their household in two to three years. They are excited the children may be home this month but are worried for their health.
Christela needs daily medicine, and reports from the orphanage are that she’s not getting it, Keith Karr said. This week, the Karrs overnighted medicine to the orphanage, but they don’t know if the orphanage received the package or if it was administered to Christela.
Keith is tired of the endless Haitian bureaucracy that can stretch the adoption process to up to three years, and that appears to be slowing down expediting the children in the aftermath of the quake.
But Karr will not give up.
“They are part of the family,” he said. “There is nothing that Haiti can do to stop us from getting our kids.”
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