Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haiti: Girl in Green


Here in Miami I talk with parents about their children over the last few days. Seeing the orphanage, documenting the exodus through the city, Haitian bureaucracy and flight line, I share little things I noticed with them as they now hold their children on U.S. soil. After mentioning the heart break when a handful of kids were told they couldn't come, one parent said, "They don't even realize what they are doing, those orphans watched their entire family leave, everything; the little they have and know" The past days are blending together but I remember a woman's hand on a child's chin and a tear filled promise that she will come back for him. Turning around a man knelt on one knee and translated to her news that she wasn't cleared to come to her adoptive parents in the United States, the bent and broken hearted girl in green. I didn't see her face again, she kept it buried. I hope her family gets to her soon.

7 comments:

Steve Gravano said...

It's a very sad situation to say the least. But the alternative, children being taken for elicit purposes is something we also don't want to see. Haiti was in dire straits before the earthquake. Maybe the rest of the world needed to be shaken to see the kind of help this country really needs. Can't wait to see your photographs.

S. said...

my sister was JUST BARELY able to come. can't believe she's here. my heart is breaking for this girl. after working with orphans in haiti several times, can't imagine her pain - but can only imagine her pain.

Writer Lady said...

The poor child looks so alone. How can they do this to her?

Phoebe said...

mike, I can't believe I stumbled onto this blog! I have been seeing the amazing work you did in Haiti, and been wanting to contact you. (actually called Patsy last week to see if she had your email or address or anything) I just found the letter you sent me when my mom died over a year ago...and feeling so awful I never responded. That was so kind and thoughtful of you to share your thoughts about her. She really did love you and was so proud of your work. She loved it because photography was her passion as well! Your work is amazing, and I am so proud to say your my cousin when I see your name! Hope all is well, if your ever in St. George please stop by, not sure I'm quite the host "aunt Laura" was but I try! love, phoebe

Mike Terry said...

Steve, you're spot on. It was heartbreaking to see but just fair game to transport kids would be extremely problematic. The problem with this group is they had about 90% of their paperwork done by their adoptive parents (a 3-4 year process) to be adopted and once the quake happened everything started over at square one. The actions of groups who were not going through the government channels really spoiled it for parents of these kids who were. While I was there the UN in Port-au-Prince stopped all transport of orphans because of these groups. Thanks for your comments, and the pics will be coming up soon.

Mike Terry said...

Phoebe,
Glad you found it! I am glad too that you got that letter, I thought it might have gotten lost. I am not sure when I will be in St.George again but I will definitely stop by. I have a copy of that photo that Dorthea Lange took of your family hanging in my apt. (the one from Gunlock) and think about all you in Dixie every time I look at it. send me your email so I can keep in touch.
miguelitoterry@gmail.com

brett said...

love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.

study abroad