July 11, 2011

The Children Are Waiting. ~ Christianne Tisdale

But not for me.

I’m in my late 40s, single, an actress and live in a 5th floor walk-up.  I  settle for productions of ANNIE where 75 little girls play the game “What animal are you?” As I prepare to respond, “Mangy dog,” they chime in “Tiz, you’re a dove.  You’re definitely a dove.”

Children are waiting.

65 orphans are waiting in Kyrgyzstan. They are waiting to be reunited with U.S. and Canadian families with whom they were matched. They are waiting to be reunited with families who have visited them, held them, wrapped them in family quilts, loved them.

They have been waiting for three years.

You didn’t know about this, did you? I wouldn’t have been aware except that my beautiful friend of 30-plus years is one of these families.

She is the dove. I just play one onstage.

In February 2009, Igor Chudinov, former Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, placed a moratorium on all inter-country adoptions. He cited fraud and abuse of the system by government officials, adoption service providers and orphanages. But this moratorium was declared close to one year after families had been matched and awaited court dates to legalize the adoptions; court dates that were historically scheduled six to eight weeks after the initial match.

During this time the government (and provisional government) investigated all the adoption cases and drafted new laws and regulations for future adoptions; they have not been implemented. All matched children have been vetted and declared legal orphans; they remain in the baby houses.

Except for the two who have died due to inadequate medical care.

The Joint Council on International Children’s Services is the voice for orphans around the world. They have initiated the Kyrgyz 65 campaign, partnering with the families, travelling to Kyrgyzstan and meeting with the Ambassador, Parliament, UNICEF and other partner organizations. To bring the children home.

Write to your Congressperson. Senators. The three “asks” to focus on are:

  1. Please ask the Department of State for a copy of the draft MOU so that the waiting families, their adoption agencies, and attorney can begin to prepare for the next steps and avoid any further needless delay.
  2. Please write to Secretary Clinton and tell her that the “Kyrgyzstan 65” families and children are important to you.  Tell her that every day matters, that resolving these pending cases and uniting American families should be a top priority for the Department of State.
  3. Please demand that the Department of State assemble a delegation to travel immediately to Kyrgyzstan to negotiate and execute the MOU in real time before the end of July, as the Government of Kyrgyzstan will largely shut down during the month of August for summer break.

Children are waiting. They are the doves. Set them free.


Christianne Tisdale has done lots of stuff. She’s performed on the Broadway stage, sung in some of the world’s most famous arenas and danced a lot in her living room. Forced to take remedial writing at Yale, she now likes to scribble in 0s and 1s from the comfort of her bed. Her critically acclaimed debut cd, Just a Map – A Lullaby to the World is available online. She’s also a Reiki Master who bakes an excellent chocolate chip cookie pie. Everything else you never needed to know at @backstagetalk on Twitter, www.Art-of-Reiki.blogspot.com and www.ChristianneTisdale.comBlog / Website: www.TIZandAsS.blogspot.com

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