Savannah families wanting to adopt Haitian orphans - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah families wanting to adopt Haitian orphans

Marie and Hogon Ukpong and Ayishatu Kanteh Marie and Hogon Ukpong and Ayishatu Kanteh

By Lynda Figueredo - bioemail

SAVANNAH, GA - Heart wrenching images of children being pulled from beneath the rubble of buildings and others crying out for food or shelter.

"It tears my heart," said Hogon Upkong.

The images of orphaned children have pulled on the heartstrings of two Savannah families that are among the many wanting to adopt these children.

"We wanted to adopt children anyway, but when I saw those kids in Haiti on the television; I told my husband I want to adopt one of those kids," said Marie Upkong. "They need parents and somebody to provide for them and we are able to do that."

The Ukpongs have tried for years to adopt children after Marie had a miscarriage.

Since many of the children in Haiti are not orphans, and are simply separated from their families due to the chaos, the Ukpongs realize it may take some time.

"I've lost a child before, and I don't want to have to give up a child," said Mrs. Upkong. "I want to keep one."

Ayishatu Kanteh has been working with an adoption agency for more than a year.

Kanteh says the process has been slow, but she is willing to wait and is looking for other agencies in order share her love with a deserving Haitian child.

"If you need something, you have to wait as long as it takes, and if there is no hope in one area, you have to go to another area," said Kanteh.

Both families are hopeful that the adoption process will be expedited, especially since many of the orphanages in Haiti have been destroyed.

"If the government in Haiti is not capable to throw in the weight behind to take care of these children, obviously folks like us that may be interested in and have the resources to help," said Mr. Upkong. "If it helps them to take that burden off we are willing to help them."

Until then these hopeful adoptive parents say they will do what they can to help the Haitian children from a distance.

For more information helping the children of Haiti visit some of the useful links below:

  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • UNICEF
  • Save the Children
  • LDS Philanthropies
  • The United Methodist Church Committee on Relief
  • World Vision
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • The American Red Cross
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