Lily Update

January 29, 2010 at 9:38 am | Posted in read this | Leave a comment
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I haven’t posted recently because, when I did, I wanted to be able to provide an update about Lily, the Haitian girl whose adoptive parents have been trying to get her back to the U.S. since the earthquake. (See my last post.)  The news was good, and then it wasn’t. Please read the letter below from Lily’s father, Tim. Lily’s mom Liz — who is four months pregnant — traveled to Haiti to finish what she thought would be some remaining bureaucratic loose ends, but now finds herself frightened in the U.S. Embassy with mobs of people outside. She is with Lily, though, and, as you can see from Tim’s letter, we hope that enough media attention will focus the Haitian Prime Minister — whose attentions are obviously and understandably in a million places — at least long enough to bring Lily home. 

My name is Tim Moore, my phone number is 540-250-2222, my e-mail address is tmoore@daa.com, my wife Elizabeth Moore and I began the adoption process in Haiti three years ago and were approved for adoption on January 7, 2009. Our paperwork was lost in the earthquake, but luckily we made copies of all of our documents prior to sending everything in. We used our documentation to obtain a Haitian passport for our daughter Lily. Once the passport was obtained, we had everything necessary for obtaining a US Visa, sans Visa medical exam. My wife tried to get approval through the USCIS office in Washington D.C., without having to travel to Haiti, but was told that the USCIS office in Haiti is a different entity and follows a different set of rules, and that in order to officially move things along, she would have to travel to the US Embassy in Haiti where her paperwork had been kept.

My wife traveled down to Haiti on the 21st of January 2010. She has been working on getting Lily out of the country since then. She visited the embassy and was told that if she wanted to obtain a Visa, Lily would have to obtain a Visa Medical Examination certificate. She visited the required doctor the following day and obtained the certificate. On Sunday, 24 January, all Visas were stopped by the US government, and only Humanitarian Parole was being allowed. Since this was our only option, we decided to go this route. Since then, and due to the Pennsylvania orphan incident, the release of paroled orphans has taken a drastic turn for the worst as the Haitian Prime Minister has become involved and is requiring his approval/signature of all cases, which is bottlenecking the entire process. My wife along with numerous other families are now sleeping on the floor of the US Embassy in Haiti and have been for the past four days. My wife is also 4 months pregnant.

I am writing to you in hopes that you may have someone on the ground or know someone on the ground in Haiti that might be able to reveal this travesty. It would seem that someone from the US government would be able to move this thing along. If you can help, I would be forever in your debt.

Sincerely,

Tim O. Moore II, PhD, P.E.

My friend Rebecca Sullivan, a public relations professional, has been focusing her time and energies on this issue to help her friend Liz. If you think you might be able to help, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Rebecca. As I mentioned in my last post, I do not know the Moore’s personally, but perhaps because Lily is the same age as my daughter (and the thought of my 2-year-old alone and frightened after an earthquake renders me almost dysfunctional) — or perhaps because this is the only tangible way I can think to help, by using my words and “social networking” skills to get the word out — I am now quite personally invested in this. I think of Liz, and Tim, and Lily often. Please forward this on. Please help if you can.

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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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