Hope FROM Haiti

8:40 PMHeather

Like you, I've been bombarded with images from all the media coverage of the horrible devastation in Haiti. A bombardment of emotions comes with it. Stories of sadness and desperation. One particular story really caught my full attention. It is the story of an ordinary Midwestern family, who like many American families, were in the process of adopting a child from Haiti. After working nearly seventeen years in adoption, this story held a special interest to me.

Matt and Mandy Poulter of Pella, Iowa, waited in great agony to get word of their daughter, Maya Esther. They had already received her referral and picture, and met her in person, falling in love with the daughter they eagerly awaited for travel clearance to bring home. Somehow, the story caught the attention of Good Morning America, and Robin Roberts particularly. The Poulters were interviewed after the earthquake regarding their plight--the face of hundreds of other adoptive families in the same situation.

When Robin Roberts got to Haiti, she apparently made it her mission to find out Esther's fate. Amazing video shows Robin on the phone with the Poulters, saying, "I found her! Yes, she is fine!" The Poulters were overcome with emotion, verifying from the video that yes, that was indeed their daughter.

What happens next blows my mind--because in my years of experience in international adoption--getting a child out of a country in the midst of such chaos is nearly impossible. I was dumbfounded as I happened upon Nightline's continuing coverage of this story. Matt and Mandy left their other children in Iowa, all the comforts of home, and found a way into Haiti. They were reunited with Esther, and Mandy called the other adoptive families on a satellite phone with word of their children in the same orphanage. Then, the Poulters loaded as many children as they could fit--eight in all--into a jeep to go to the American Consulate with a passionate plea to grant visas for all the children to get them to their new home in America. The video shows the Poulters--singularly focused on their mission--with the help of others, pushing past the hundreds--if not thousands--of desperate Haitians gathered in search for help. You can hear Mandy urgently telling her husband to press on, to keep going.

Against all odds, against all logic, and fueled by the consuming love of a mother and a father--Esther, along with four other children, were granted the precious visas and permission to fly home. My mother's heart was pierced by the video of Matt and Mandy climbing off a private plane, Esther asleep on her father's chest, welcomed by their other children. And, the other Haitian children who were allowed to come home, being greeted by their dazed and happy parents--who days earlier did not know if their child lived or died, or would ever be allowed to be adopted.

I cried like a baby at the dinner table as I relayed the story of this miracle, trying to explain to my children how God was bringing good, even from all the horror. This is one of those stories that gripped my heart, and played over and over in my mind.

Then it hit me. This is not the story of some Haitian child coming to live in Iowa. This is my story. This is YOUR story. Because you see, we were caught in death and devastation, buried under the weight and rubble of our sins. The outlook was grim. And, from his home, our Abba Father saw our plight. He knew that left where we were, we would surely perish. He found a way. Like the Poulters, he was driven and focused to do anything necessary to find us, to save us, to bring us home. He didn't need to call in a senator, or accept the donation of a private plane or any other favors--all he needed was within his grasp. He sent his Son to travel to our devastation, to push past and to demolish all obstacles, so that we, too, could rest in the arms of our Father, arriving Home at last--to our Forever Family. This is what it means to be adopted sons and daughters of the Great I Am.

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