Monday, December 25, 2006
"Oh the weather outside is delightful. . ." Everything's upside down in Haiti, including the words to this song, though they are true today: sunny skies and temps in the 80's for Christmas in Haiti.
It hasn't been the best Christmas weekend in Haiti, as UN troops stormed Cite Soleil, killing at least nine people. Elsewhere the usual grind of poverty went on, punctuated by loud fireworks at night and music coursing through the streets.
Being the middle class Americans that we are, we escape the misery, even as it surrounds us. Our only real hardship is being away from our families for the holidays, though the addition of our new family member here in Haiti makes it all worthwhile.
Wherever you are and however you are celebrating Christmas, we send you the following greetings:
Happy Holidays to you from Haiti, where we have spent the last five months waiting to complete the adoption of our son, Luke Innocent. We are grateful to be able to spend this time with Luke, a joyful little boy, who is changing his parents for the better.
Haiti is a humbling place to be. People suffer terribly from poverty and disease. We believe that where people are suffering, God is especially present. We see this presence in the faith of our Haitian brothers and sisters, who are so grateful to God for the little they have. We ask your prayers for them and for all of us that we might work to bring justice to the world and bear witness to the Child born two thousand years ago in Bethlehem.
We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2007!
John, Maria, & Luke
In the photo above, President Rene Preval gives a Christmas address to children gathered on the lawn of the National Palace.