Saturday, January 23, 2010

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  1. Dear Yakini and Coffy,

    I am anxiously following your journey ever since the blog came online.
    I was swept into your story, which soon enough became my story, with
    you as its heroes.

    The disaster in Haiti has indeed hurt hundreds of thousands of people,
    each individual is a whole world, and every one of them experienced
    their own tragedy.
    However, you and your family are the ones who have deeply touched our
    hearts, as well as the hearts of our friends here in Israel.

    Occasionally when reading the updates, a thought crosses my mind that
    maybe I'm reading a script for a new movie. But NO. It's real. It
    really happens, and it happens to real people that are so close to us
    in heart but so physically far away that our hand can't reach to help

    Yakini and Coffy -- you have become a symbol to me.
    A symbol of respect for one's parents, a symbol of a wonderful
    partnership, incredible emotional strength. It seems that nothing will
    stand in your way while optimism is leading you.

    I fell in love with you when Keren first told us about their first
    visit at your home, looking for an appropriate daycare for Ella. I,
    who stayed at home with all my children until they were two, was very
    concerned about having my granddaughter cared for by strangers. But i
    trusted Keren and Ben's judgment. And time proved that there couldn't
    have been a better choice. In their last visit to Israel, Keren and
    Ben brought with them a music CD, your CD, for Ella and me to listen
    to while she stayed at home with me. I still play it here often -- the
    songs are so joyful, filled with good energy, and your singing voices
    warm my heart and make me appreciate you even more.

    And now with this terrible disaster I see more incredible aspects of
    your personalities.
    Coffy, nothing stopped you, you left everything behind and wondered
    into the unknown, on an unpaved path whose end isn't clear. And
    Yakini, you courageously support your husband, knowing that you are
    left behind with the family, business, and a lot of stress. Coffy, you
    did the impossible and got to your parents at the last moment to pull
    them out of a possible grave. Yakini, you stay at home and take care
    of your children and the children of the "extended family" with
    dedication and love despite the concern and your worries. Coffy, I
    hear your confident voice in the video clips. The terrible sights are
    in your background. The kind words that you say to Yakini in these
    short videos seem to be aimed at strengthening her as well as

    Yes, the story seems to have been taken from a movie. Like one of
    those classical stories about war and survival. And I can't wait to
    get to the last page of this book, because my heart aches with your
    pain and burdened with your hardship. But I'm not reading a book nor I
    am at the movie theater. I'm with you. with you, page by page, chapter
    after chapter, it's unbelievable. I'm hurting with you during the hard
    moments, and I'm happy with you in the joyful moments. I admire you
    for being so strong, warm, respectful and optimistic and I'm happy
    that Keren and Ben met you and that you take part in shaping Ella's
    personality in her first years.

    There are not many people like you in this world.
    And if there were, it would have been a different world.

    I send you a huge hug from here, and pray for you every day.

    With love,


  2. If you live in Illinois 1st Congressional District,
    did you try contacting Representative Bobby Rush
    for help with the visas at the US Consulate in
    Santo Domingo ?

  3. Well done! My apologies that I don't have much to donate. I just read the New York Times article on line and I couldnt but help noticing that your family has Yoruba names even which means that you have preserved the link to Africa.
    Like the President of Senegal said whenever you folks feel like visiting or coming back to stay until Haiti is rebuilt there is land for all Haitians in Africa.

  4. You need to go for the Humanitarian Parole, not a visitor visa. That is because with the visitor visa you have to show that your parents have a residence abroad they have no intention of abandoning and that they have a non-immigrant intent. When you get back, apply for citizenship as soon as you are eligible. The University of Illinois Extension has classes with a 100% success rate and we can come to a church in your community to hold them.

  5. Why don't you provide a name and address in Chicago where we can just send a check to the family? For some that will be the most direct way.

    About charity status, why not ask a neighborhood church to take this under their wing instead of adding the legal and accounting expense a new charity will require? Donations to that church could be placed in a fund for this and other families with similar needs in Haiti. Of course, precise fund use records will need to be kept.

    We wish you well and look forward to helping in this way.

  6. Please give an address where I can send a check. I want to help the family but I'm not comfortable leaving a credit card #. Thank you.

  7. Good luck to you and your family. It's an incredible story, and I wish you only the best!