Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Why am I sitting at a stoplight crying?


Much attention has been paid to our family during this holiday season.  Running Girl, Island Boy and I completed an interview with the BBC World Service on Friday.  The reporter in London informs us that it will air during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

We had a two-hour interview with The Buffalo News on Saturday.  We are informed that we may be the front page story on Christmas Day.

Our story is multi-faceted and catchy:

  • Family of four opens hearts to concept of adoption of Haitian child in need of home, and begins adoption process.
  • Mom and Dad travel to Haiti to meet newly-matched child, fall in love and then experience heartbreak upon return to the U.S. without him.
  • Mom and Dad travel to Haiti many more times to visit child.  While there, they learn about Haiti.  To paraphrase Leon Uris’ description of Ireland, Haiti is a terrible beauty.  From the depths of despair, roses spring up organically.
  • Mom and Dad befriend Haitians and Americans who live in that nation.
  • Family endures drawn-out process through countless Haitian and American agencies.  The drama is heightened by lost documents in provincial cities with no computerized record-keeping system.
  • Mom runs Marathon to raise money for an ambulance for Haiti.  She then travels to Haiti and is there with Island Boy on January 12, 2010 when the earthquake occurs.
  • Family goes through emotional meat-grinder as mom must leave Haiti without child.  Family spends a devastating 10 days hearing gruesome reports about desperate armed men attacking orphanages for food.   Family must keep up a brave face when encountering the wave of love and support from friends and family.
  • Family is joyfully reunited with child when Island Boy arrives on small plane with no fuel.  He brings nothing but the clothes on his back.
  • Family spends an extraordinary year acclimating newly-arrived American to culture and society.
  • Mom and Dad continue efforts to raise awareness and support for Haiti and its beautiful people.


And so this is Christmas.

We have our family intact for the first time.  Island Boy will experience his first Christmas in a loving family.  Santa will presumably come and leave him what he wants and so much more.

Why am I sitting at a stoplight crying?


Papa:  Island Boy, do you want to listen to Christmas music on the way to school today?

Island Boy:   Yes, Papa.  I want to dance in my car seat.

Papa:  Okay.  I’m putting on a CD.

Papa puts on Bare Naked Ladies’ Barenaked for the Holidays.  Track Eight comes on.  Papa begins singing a song he has sung for over 20 years.

Island Boy:  Papa, why you stop singing?

+ + + + + +

It’s Christmastime,
there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime,
we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty
we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
at Christmastime

But say a prayer,
pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard,
but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window,
and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them
instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life (Oooh)
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Here’s to you raise a glass for everyone
Here’s to them underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

©1984 Bob Geldof and Midge Ure


Please give to Haiti this holiday season.

— The Major


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LynneLevy on December 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    you do not cry alone.


  2. Posted by lisa on December 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Crying with you my brother. We will not forget Haiti. Love you all.


  3. Posted by Lisa N. on December 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    wow-you gave me chills. Thanks for the reminder to look outside our windows. Merry Christmas to your entire beautiful family.


  4. Posted by Melania on December 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    You and your family are doing a wonderful job of enjoying all the gifts you have been given while still managing humility and the grace of paying it forward! I cry a lil every time I hear that song. Merry Christmas!


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