Monthly Archives: January 2010


After intense days of worrying about things like life and death and sick babies and water and more life and death, and of blogging about life and death and suffering, I gotta tell you, I’m not sure how to return to posting trivial words about trivial things, which, well, that’s my shtick, darn it.

I talked to my butler Mike about that briefly and basically we agreed that if me writing trivial words about trivial things brings a smile to a few faces, and if it makes me happy to write those trivial words, then so be it.

I’ve enjoyed my break from my blog and I do plan to return tomorrow with guns blazing.

And by “guns blazing,” I mean, “Watch out, pidgees. Pew pew.”

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Complete statement from the McMutrie Family

January 21, 2010

Statement from Jamie & Ali McMutrie and the McMutrie family:

We are so grateful to be home. We have many people to thank for their support and their efforts in our rescue and, more importantly, the rescue of the children. Please forgive us if we forget any names, but the numbers are too great. We’re sure that many of the individuals and organizations involved will give their own acknowledgments, which we hope will fill any gaps.

In government, our deepest thanks to Governor Edward G. Rendell and Representative Jason Altmire, whose efforts in Haiti were truly heroic. We feel that if they had not been on that flight, none of the kids would have made it home. We also thank the U.S. Military, who were able to save these children, without hindering the flow of aid coming in. Thanks, too, to Senators Casey and Specter, Representative Doyle, and Chief Executive Onorato for their powerful contributions here at home. For transportation, in addition to the U.S. military, we thank Republic Airlines and US Airways for going doing everything to ensure our comfort and safety.

Our thanks to UPMC, including Leslie McCombs, and Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, especially Dr. Mary Carrasco and her skilled, caring medical team who were on the trip to Haiti. For the children’s care here in Pittsburgh we thank UPMC Children’s Hospital, their doctors and nursing staff, and the remarkable volunteers of the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities, who gave individual attention to each child, making sure they were happy, entertained, and loved. Giant Eagle, with the help of Kevin Srigley, contributed greatly to meeting the needs of the children at Children’s Hospital. We also thank Holy Family Institute, who are currently providing a safe, caring place for the children.

Just across the hall from the children at the hospital were offices with workers from a host of federal agencies and Allegheny County’s own Office of Children, Youth and Families. Seeing our government work together with such cooperation to quickly and accurately process the children’s paperwork was inspiring not only to us, but also to the adoptive parents who flew in from around the country.

Behind the scenes, there was a private group comprised of Mary Beth Buchanan and Valerie May of the May Law Group, who worked tirelessly on an alternative plan for our rescue, and we thank them as well.

We are convinced that our rescue would have taken much longer if not for the media spotlight that was cast on BRESMA. For this we thank Julie Talerico and Pittsburgh Magazine, which ran the original article about BRESMA in January 2009, including the photos by Laura Petrilla that captured the hearts of so many over the past days. The author of that story was Jonathan Wander, and he and Virginia Montanez of have become trusted family friends. Their sharing of the story online and keeping people updated showed the positive power of the internet. Thousands of you responded by getting involved, contacting your representatives, generously donating, soliciting help, and relaying directions to our location so we could get supplies from brave people who took great personal risk to reach us.

Although we are happy to be home with our family and friends, and happy to have the children safe, our hearts are still with the people and children of Haiti, and the family we left behind–the staff who valiantly stayed with us at BRESMA to care for the children until we were rescued. They are left to cope with immeasurable suffering and loss. We beg you to continue to help the people of Haiti as much as possible, and the many orphaned children in particular. Please continue to donate, and continue to encourage your Representatives and Senators to do their part in helping the Haitians recover from this devastating crisis. We promise to continue our most passionate efforts as well.

Thank you.

Jamie McMutrie, Ali McMutrie and the McMutrie family

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Stepping away.

There’s a story here.  There’s so much to tell and honestly, I don’t know where to start.  So I’m not going to for right now.

My work is done and your work is done. Watch the mainstream media from here on out as I’m sure they will raise Jamie and Ali up to be the heroes they ABSOLUTELY are.  These girls have a bravery and selflessness that I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend.

I am not a hero and I can say that with 100% confidence and don’t argue with me.  I was charged with bringing awareness to their plight and issuing pleas as immediate needs arose.  It doesn’t matter how loud I screamed; if no one was there to hear me, I never made a sound.  You heard and you sprang into action and that makes YOU the social media hero.  I was invited by Jamie and Ali to visit them at the hospital this afternoon.  I have seen the children and they are so happy and well taken care of right now.  You should be so proud of this day.

When I can, I’ll explain to you why there was so much secrecy regarding so many things, why I wouldn’t confirm certain things the media was reporting.  I’ll tell you about the chaos, the terror, the tears, the criticism, and I will also tell you how Jonathan Wander is a real life superhero.  Through all of this, he and I have experienced together some of the lowest of lows and even more lows until finally, FINALLY, the highest of highs. Complete with lots of crying. He and I are bound together for life.  I can’t speak for him, but I know that for me, this week has changed me as a person.

Now …

I have been dead to my husband, to my family, and to my children for five days now, or six? Seven? I don’t know.  I have done practically nothing but sit at my computer and talk on my phone.  Like others behind the scenes, I would wake up, blink, eat lunch, blink, and look at the clock to realize it is 2:00 a.m. and at some point in time, my husband put my children to bed and he’s sound asleep, too.  Lather, rinse, and repeat.  I’m not writing that to complain or to brag.  I’m writing that so that you’ll understand the next thing I’m going to say …

I will not be posting here at That’s Church for a week to give me time to process everything that has happened. Too much to take in right now. It seems surreal.  Did it really happen?  I almost got run over by a toy truck today, zoomed at me across the floor with great speed by a young Haitian.  I guess it really happened.

Well done, readers.  I’ll write you a proper and gushing thank you when my brain starts working again.

For now, I just want to put my head down without paralyzing fear for the survival of the children of BRESMA.

Haiti still suffers.

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Interim statement from Jamie and Ali McMutrie

I have been asked by Jamie and Ali to release the following statement:

“We would like to thank you all so much for your interest in the continuing progress of the children of BRESMA. Many of you have asked us for statements. Our only priority now, though, is helping the children with this transition. Once we are secure that all of the children are where they should be, and this story has reached the happy ending that everyone is working so hard for, then we will happily make those statements. Thank you for the tremendous caring and support you have shown.”

Jamie and Ali McMutrie

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I FINALLY have good news.

A statement from the McMutrie family:

“We are so thrilled to be able to share with you that Ali McMutrie and the children from the Brebis de Saint-Michel de L’Attalaye (BRESMA) orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, arrived safely at Pittsburgh International Airport a short while ago.  Jamie McMutrie will be following behind shortly.  We will release a full statement as soon as we are able.  In the meantime, thank you for your support during this trying time, and please continue to keep Haiti in your thoughts.”

That? Is good news.  Finally.

I’ll post that full statement as soon as I’m permitted.

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