It started already Tuesday night. Actually I think it was within an hour of finding out about it.
The phone calls started. The panicked, nervous and very distraught adoptive parents whose children were still down at GLA were obviously very upset about the news and very concerned about what had happened to GLA and to the kids.
Fortunately, John Bickel was able to get in touch with Jean in our Colorado office and let her know that they were all outside and badly shaken but no one on the premises was hurt. So, right away, we could start reassuring parents that their children were safe.
But what did the future hold? How bad was it? What happened to the paperwork? How badly would this delay things? What did it really mean?
And why God, why did you allow this to happen?
During the first 10 days, my e-mail was buzzing so fast it was smoking and my voice mail on my cell phone was always full. Normally, my bluetooth headset for my phone lasted an entire day before it needed charging. Then I was going through it three times during the course of one day. Purely nuts and everyone was alternating between altered states of consciousness – between being very relieved that their children were safe and extremely stressed and upset that they were living with so many uncertainties (their kids were). I was getting e-mails from people saying, “Tom, I tried to call you but your voice mail is full.” To which I e-mailed back and said, “Yep, I’ve been on the phone virtually non-stop since 7:30 this morning (when I dropped the kids off at school) and it’s currently 9:00 at night…….
But little by little, the dust, both proverbial and physical, was settling. There started to be talk of Humanitarian parole (more on that later) and talk of water trucks, supply runs, charter airplanes and peace keepers. The very limited reports of looting in Port Au Prince helped too.
As time moved on, adoptive parents became more and more hopeful that their kids would actually get to go home early. There were a number of governmental and adoption agencies who were working with both the US government and the Haitian government. More on that later – there were so many other things happening at the same time…….
P.S. Within 2 months after this, I had to replace my phone because the vibrate function on it died. I think it literally shook itself to death after the earthquake.