Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes, Something is VERY WRONG!!!!!

I have had many people ask me how things are going with our newly enlarged family. Some people have told me that they have heard that I didn't appear to be as happy as I used to be. Or that something appeared wrong with me. That I have a sad look in my eyes.

Well, there is something wrong, something VERY WRONG! (No, it has nothing to do with the two little joyful additions! We really couldn't be happier!) I have seen many things that I can not and will not forget. When you have to put a baby back down in a bed in an orphanage, knowing that it will die if you don't take it with you, there is something VERY WRONG! Part of my heart is in the Congo still. And it is very sad. I am glad I will never forget. As I do not want to ever stop wanting to help the beautiful Congolese people.

One of the wonderful things about Our Family Adoptions (the nonprofit organization that helped us bring Chad and Ian home) is they want you to travel to the D.R.C. to bring your child home. Other agencies recommend you use an escort to bring your child back to you in the safe USA. OFA wants you to see everything first hand. Because no matter how many pictures you see, nothing compares to seeing a breathing child hundreds of breathing children smile at you with helpless starving eyes. It's indescribable. OFA wants you to never forget the other millions (5 million) orphans in the Congo that you left behind. OFA wants you to help change the lives of these people.

I must address something that really gets under my skin. When people hear about all of the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many wonder what makes the Congolese so violent. I actually had someone ask, "Are they wired wrong?" ( I did hold in my anger at this comment). It is NOT the Congolese people that are violent. They are innocent victims. I know many are just ignorant to the facts of what is happening there. Because let's face it the Congo rarely makes the news.

So, today I thought maybe I would share some information about where this violence is coming from. I must first say that I am in no way an expert on this subject. And I am only giving a lesson on the most recent violence. These people were being mistreated way before this time. But I am going to focus on the last decade or so.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered two wars since 1996. According to the International Rescue Committee, an estimated 5.4 million people died between 1998 and 2008, most from preventable diseases, lack of food security, displacement, and destroyed health-care systems. The war supposedly ended in 2003 this did NOT bring an end to conflict in the D.R.C.

The jungles of eastern Congo remain a hiding ground to numerous rebel organizations all of which have horrific histories and agendas. Responsible for mass atrocities against civilians, including massacres, rapes, and abductions, three rebel groups the FDLR, CNDP, and LRA have caused the greatest destruction and suffering in recent years. These rebels have profited generously (major $,$$$,$$$) from the continually stealing the DRC of it's many natural resources. These monsters prey on the civilian population. Actually, I believe prey is way too nice of a word!

And yes, all of those metals that make our cell phones and computers work, are supporting these groups! I've posted on this before and asked for help, but I am doing it again. Just incase you didn't have the few minutes that day and might find the time today. I am asking you to take a minute to email major electronics producers and ask them to use conflict free minerals. A pre-written letter to these companies is available by clicking HERE. All you have to do is put in your email address and the rest is taken care of. Please also click HERE to urge your Senators to cosponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Act. Again, all you have to do is put your email address and the rest is taken care of.
The largest UN peacekeeping force in the world (MONUC) is largely unable to halt these attacks. They have recently announced that they will be removing themselves by 2011! WHY!?! The Congolese Armed Forces are not strong enough or ethical enough to achieve peace and security in the region.

Here are what the Congolese people are up against:

Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) is a rebel group that operates slaughters in the eastern Congo, where it has simply murdered slaughtered the innocent Congolese people.  They don't just execute people, they make them suffer, they kill them slowly, they make them watch rapes, and beatings of their loved ones.  Although members of the FDLR are often identified with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda (where they killed 800,000 people), the majority of FDLR rebels are recruits drawn from the eastern Congo. They kidnap children and force them to do the unthinkable. They become trained children soldiers.

Many (over 1,000,000!) people have fled their homes to try and find safety. This is one reason the city of Kinshasa is so heavily populated with many homeless people and homeless orphaned children.

This is only one of the three strong rebel groups the Congolese must fear. One of the other three is the LDR. The LDR was hidden deep in the news yesterday. I found a CNN report of the attack. According to the report children were forced to circle other children and throw rocks at them until they died. Seriously, can you imagine your kids being forced to do this? A three-year-old was burned to death. Imagine having to watch your child be caught on fire. Hundreds of women and children were kidnapped. The LDR sent a statement back to the villagers that were left behind. The message was sent by some of the kidnapped villagers who had their ears, lips, and other body parts missing.

Please click HERE and read the whole story I am sure you will find something is VERY WRONG too!

The only front page type press the D.R.C. has gotten is when Hilary Clinton visited the country. After seeing the pain the Congolese people must endure, she vowed to help the people of the D.R.C.

This was eight months ago.

Nothing has been done yet.

Maybe if actions had been taken that little girl wouldn't have burned to death.

Maybe those children would happily be playing in a field.

You can simply text something like- HELP CONGO to 90822. To let Hilary know that the United States citizens believe this is VERY WRONG! Please take just a few minutes of your time. Please put yourself in their shoes. All I am asking is a few clicks of your mouse and a simple text message. Together we can stop the VERY WRONG!


  1. Thank you for sharing this true tale of horror and reality. It is too easy to go about our plentiful, safe ways and ignore the misery that so many millions of the 6.8 billion humans of this world must endure. Thank you for making some precious lives so much better, and for awakening us to brutality that surrounds the plunder for metals. ~~~^^^larry^^^~~~

  2. I soooo agree with you Stori! I have yet to make my trip to DRC but I am certain it will have the same emotional devastation. It is so hard for American's to imagine that this is real not an exaggeration. I commend you for continuing to spread the word for the Congolese people.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! Check your email I'm sending you a private message.

  4. I just posted this to OFA site. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Stori, you have the spirit of a mama lion protecting her cubs when you speak of the children of the Congo. What tragic scenes you have witnessed, what love you have shown for those held there. Those who love you see the pain that is now in your eyes and we love you even more for it.


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