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Mar 15, 201105:49 PMChina Mom

The calm after the tsunami

Mar 15, 2011 - 05:49 PM
Like most people, I’m following the disaster in Japan every day. And every day the news just gets worse. The death toll mounts. Words like “full-scale nuclear catastrophe imminent” fill my Twitter feed. But one thing is missing. And if you’ve read my blog at all, you know what it is: the children.

You might remember following the earthquake in Haiti, countless people immediately wanted to adopt a child who’d been orphaned in the disaster. It seemed people were willing to board a plane and fly to Haiti for a child asap, with little regard to procedure, paperwork or policy.

In the weeks that followed, we all learned that Haiti’s infrastructure couldn’t handle these good intentions – then or in the near future. Haiti’s orphans would have to wait.

So what about Japan’s orphans? Surely there are just as many, if not more, children who lost their parents in the tsunami’s devastation. And yet, I haven’t heard a single story about the orphans of Japan or Japan’s lost children. I’ve yet to hear one well-meaning Westerner who’s ready to hop a plane to Japan to adopt a baby.

On the chance that I’m just out of the loop – it’s been known to happen – I did a Google search and the only thing I could find was some strange ask.com entry asking "will Christians would adopt Japanese orphans following the tsunami?" Weird. But not as weird as the random answers that followed – not one of which really answered my question: Does anyone care about Japan’s orphans?

This isn’t a rhetorical question - or even a sarcastic one. I honestly want to know why there was such an outpouring of emotion for Haitian orphans following that earthquake, but virtually nothing for the orphans of Japan? Do people automatically think Japan can take care of their own orphaned children? Is it because Japan is not a country known for international adoption? Is it a first world/third world country thing? And if so, why should that matter all of a sudden after an earthquake? Why are orphans more in need of a family after a disaster than before one?

Japan isn’t big on international adoption, so I’m sure they don’t have much of a system established. And I know that if a tsunami hit the coast of another developed country - say, America? - the first thought among citizens in another developed country - say, Europe? - wouldn’t be, “We must help their children by adopting them!”

But I do find it amazing that no one has mentioned these children. No one has discussed the fact that there are likely thousands of children who were orphaned by this disaster. Maybe – and quite likely – Japan can take care of them. I just find it interesting that no one thought Haiti could too.

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Sarah Roe discovered the art of couponing in 2005 when her son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies and the rising cost of medications and food made it difficult to feed her own family. By 2007, Sarah began teaching coupon workshops in Tulsa, Oklahoma and founded Tulsa's Coupon Queen, LLC

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