Bring Lily home (Haiti)

January 14, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Lily

It’s hard to think relatively about one’s first-world “problems” right now.  One of my close friends from college has done extensive charity work in Haiti through, and is on the board of, an organization called Hands Together (those of you who went to college with me may remember Father Tom, the Catholic chaplain during our years there; he now runs a school in Haiti, and has been heard from — he is safe); another good college friend, whose parents are Haitian, is a reporter for the Post and, as I write this, is trying to cross into Haiti from the Dominican Republic to report on the situation.  (For the record, I can vouch for the legitimacy of Hands Together, a wonderful organization worthy of your donation if you are looking to help…)

My two friends have taken action in the ways they know how, and, apart from donating money, I am hoping I, too, can do more. So I’ll use my humble blog to post the below letter.  The writer is a friend of a friend (I do not know her personally), but I haven’t stopped thinking about her and her daughter, Lily, a Haitian orphan.  Lily was to come to the U.S. at the end of the month, finally, after years of red tape.  She is alive, but her new parents are beside themselves with worry. Perhaps someone will read this who can help find Lily.  While she is but one of hundreds of thousands suffering, if just one child can be helped by this post, it will be one less child suffering.  So I put this out there… just in case.  The following letter is written by Lily’s mother, Elizabeth Moore.

Dear Family & Friends:

As you know, Tim, and I have adopted a child from Haiti: Lily.  Our adoption was finalized and released by the Haitian Government on January 7, 2010, after 2 1/2 years of paperwork and red tape.  We received a receipt to report to Haiti on January 28th to pick up her Haitian Passport and to process her I600 and Visa with US Immigration in Port au Prince for her to come home.  We were elated!  We had not even had a chance to announce the news!

The news of the earthquake has devastated us- not only for Lily and our friends there, but for the entire nation of Haiti. We heard yesterday morning that Lily is alive- and we are so thankful and grateful to be one of the few families to receive any news, especially good news.  The government offices are destroyed, we cannot reach our attorney and we are working on the assumption that our file has also been destroyed.

We have scanned copies of all of our legal Haitian documents and are seeking assistance from the Haitian Embassy in the US to issue Lily’s passport based on the file that we have.  USCIS, via the help of Senator Collins from the great state of Maine, has agreed to cooperate and allow us to work through DC since Port au Prince is no longer an option, and to most likely use scanned documents since the originals are in jeopardy.  We are so thankful that we received scans of the final docs and our passport receipt just weeks ago. We are anxiously awaiting information from the Haitian Embassy in DC.  We know they are overwhelmed with requests.  Here is key info on Lily:

Lily’s legal name is Sophia Lily Derat Moore, she is 2 years, 9 months old and is currently located in the Tabarre section of Port au Prince.  This is between the airport and the Palace, so in the heart of the city.  We are unsure of the state of the home where she lives.

I am e-mailing you today for 3 reasons:

1. To thank all of you for the outpouring of support over the past 36 hours.  It means a great deal to us and it is helping us through this difficult time.  We are concerned not only for our daughter, but for everyone in Haiti.  Your positive thoughts are GREAT!

2. If you know of anyone who many know someone who knows someone, etc. with a connection to the Haitian Embassy in the US that may offer us assistance, we would greatly appreciate your help.  We have received one lead and we are optimistic, but the more support we have in asking for an exception to their rules, the better.  All area politicians have our information and have been very helpful.  I have also been in touch with the media.  I will likely be on the news after two days of no sleep tonight!  I have a pdf file of all of Lily’s docs, passport photos and our passport receipt ready to e-mail to anyone who needs it.

3. Many people have asked me for suggestions on how to help.  Tim’s work in Haiti has been largely through Partners in Health, and Lily was abandoned at one of their hospitals.  They have people on the ground in Haiti providing medical care.  You can give to them through their website, www.pih.org.  There are many ways to help and we hear money and aid are the priorities right now.  In the future man power, too.  Unless you are a medical doctor- then go now!!!

Thank you.  We are hoping for the best for the safe homecoming of Lily.  Please forward this to anyone who may have a connection in the Haitian Embassy.  The US Dept of State and Immigration have confirmed, as of today, that the passport is essential because Lily is not a US Citizen at this time.  We are still exploring other options and I have requested an executive order and/or exception.  Now is the time to show off and work your connections!  A prize to the person who connects me to Barack and Hillary. 

We couldn’t do this without your love and support.  I KNOW Lily will be home safe, and as her parents we are doing everything we can possibly think of to make sure of it.

Let me know if you have leads and need our legal docs.

Elizabeth and Tim

If you can help, email me through my blog or leave a comment (I don’t want to list their contact information publicly).

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  1. I so wish that I had some way to help these parents and this girl, but I don’t. I did want to leave a few words and thank you for writing this post for keeping the spotlight where it should be – on the impossible fallout and devastation for so many people. I hope this sweet girl is in the arms of her parents and soon.


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