So remember I told you the event in honor of Jamie and Ali McMutrie had to be postponed just a few hours before it was scheduled to begin and remember I told you that they had a good reason for being unable to attend?

The reason they were unable to attend was because they returned to Haiti that very day in an effort to retrieve 11 BRESMA children that the French government did not rescue as they were supposed to do.

I had dinner with Jamie, Ali, and Jonathan Wander a week ago when Jamie told me she had received a phone call that very day informing her that the French left 11 children behind.  It was a hard thing to hear, but I could also hear the determination in Jamie’s voice that she was going to do everything she could with Ali to find a way to bring those children here, despite the fact that their matches with French families fell through.

So I wasn’t surprised when Jonathan called me and told me that the girls would be heading to Haiti last Friday to try to bring the children to the States.

Of course, increasingly strict regulations as they relate to orphans in Haiti stood in Jamie and Ali’s way of lobbying Haiti to bring the 11 here.  Jamie and Ali were able to have food, water, and supplies delivered to the orphanage for the 11 children and their nannies, a small consolation in having to leave them there to return briefly to the States, as their plane only had a two hour window to stay on the ground.

The girls plan to return to Haiti to try again as soon as possible.  As you can imagine, right now Jamie and Ali are focused on those last 11 children.  As Jamie indicated, it might mean that Jamie and Ali have to return to Haiti earlier than they had planned to, in order to be with those children.

You can read more here about their plans for the future.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.  They are true heroes and their current celebrity status has done nothing to change their devotion to the children of Haiti.  I have learned that first-hand in talking with them since their return.

These are my words, not those of the McMutrie family.  Therefore, you are free to comment on this post, whereas in the past, those posts that were the words of the family had closed comments.

I hope that you all will get to meet Jamie and Ali soon, but I know that you understand that the kids and their safety and well-being have to come first.


  1. unsatisfied
    February 2, 2010 11:53 am

    at least ali and jamie are doing things the right way — and, not like those folks from utah who are accused of trying to kidnap kids across the dominican republic border. what a mess.

    go team ali and jamie!

  2. Craig
    February 2, 2010 12:06 pm

    Good for them, somehow I’ve come to expect no less than total heroism on their part. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the entire US should be proud of their efforts.

  3. chrys
    February 2, 2010 12:30 pm

    They are truly amazing young women. I have no doubt that these sisters can accomplish anything! They are truly heroes.. :)

  4. Jules
    February 2, 2010 12:44 pm

    Amazing, AMAZING women. I am so proud to say they’re from Pittsburgh.

  5. lizah
    February 2, 2010 12:55 pm

    It’s such a mess over there, I’m glad those Haitian children have Ali and Jaime to look after them.

  6. Steve
    February 2, 2010 1:14 pm

    I read about a group from Idaho who got detained, but not one from Utah. Did I miss something?

    I am very pleased that the Hatian government let the BRESMA children travel to the US to finalize the adoption plans. In light of the detention of this other group, I am now very grateful for the patience of the sisters in doing things the right way, and the willingness of individuals in our government to ensure that things were done properly.

    Unfortunately for the 11 children, I think that it will be less likely that they will be allowed to leave.

    Jamie and Ali are incredible individuals. They know exactly what they are getting into by returning to Haiti, and I applaud their courage and willingness to go anyway.

  7. Heather
    February 2, 2010 2:02 pm

    Can I ask a question that has been bugging me and I’m sure the answer is out there and I just don’t know it, but if anyone knows it’ll be the readers of this blog (thank you Virginia!)

    We’ve all read that they took care of over 100 children in the BRESMA orphanage.

    They brought back 54 and now there are 11 more.
    Doesn’t that still leave 40ish kids?

    What am I missing?

  8. Niccolle
    February 2, 2010 2:38 pm

    It’s my understanding (from the news conference, I believe) that the other children were to be taken by the govts of the other countries that those children were to be adopted in. I believe it was France, Spain…some others…?
    Loyal minons, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that was the deal…

  9. butcher's dog
    February 2, 2010 3:58 pm

    Maybe the governor of Idaho should have gone with the group now in a Haitian slammer. I’d give odds their hearts were in the right place (as opposed to “child trafficking” charges now pending), but it didn’t sound good for the Prime Minister to say he wanted to make an example out of them. If we’re on the side of Truth, Justice, and The American Way (had to be old enough to watch Superman in b/w) then we all need to pray for these people as well and for their speedy release.

  10. Pensgirl
    February 2, 2010 4:03 pm

    Niccolle, that’s how I understood it. I think Denmark or Belgium took some kids.

  11. Virginia
    February 2, 2010 4:14 pm

    Yes, the remaining children were retrieved by the countries in which their adoptive families lived. However, France left these 11 behind after Jamie and Ali were assured they would be taken to France.

  12. Dan (Not Onarato)
    February 2, 2010 4:47 pm

    Leave it to France…no wonder no one likes them

  13. unsatisfied
    February 2, 2010 5:55 pm

    idaho. utah. whatever.

    anything west of texas is the same to me.

    except california, of course…..

  14. Heather
    February 2, 2010 8:24 pm

    Thank you guys so much, I knew there was an explanation I just couldn’t figure it out.

  15. Political Party Pooper
    February 2, 2010 8:26 pm

    France..they can’t even handle babysitting duties. Is it any wonder we had to save their asses twice the last century, and also basically saved their asses in Viet Nam, as well?

    I am wondering if their only contribution to the word really has been french fries.

  16. kelli
    February 2, 2010 9:25 pm

    Even that might be giving them too much credit – I believe Belgian Fries to be superior.

  17. Doncha
    February 2, 2010 9:29 pm

    Political Party Pooper: The term is “palms frittes,” which means fried potatoes. We call ’em french fries, or “freedom fries” when we’re being self-absorbed assholes.

    To the rest of you: the incident with the Idaho missionaries came about by the fact that they carried nothing more than a letter from their pastor saying, yeah, grab these kids and bring ’em back. The Haitians are understandably leery of people who think they can pick up their children and take them home as if they were good stocking stuffers.

    I was on the tarmac at Port Au Prince with Jamie and Ali this Saturday and they are, indeed, determined young ladies. They were hauling boxes of supplies to the orphanage and figuring out the next move. The Haitian government is not the roadblock here. It’s ours. Without pending adoptions, the U.S. government, which would gladly accept these children if they Hispanicized their names and started threatening Castro, doesn’t want them here.

    Welcome to the Lou Dobbs version of America.

  18. Bob
    February 2, 2010 10:41 pm

    Sounds like you are the more self-absorbed asshole.

  19. Ms Goodnigt
    February 3, 2010 1:46 am

    Doncha – it is pommes frites.

  20. butcher's dog
    February 3, 2010 8:28 am

    Hey, don’t overlook mayo in the French contributions to world culture.

    Bob wins, by the way.