UPDATE 5: Overnight BRESMA update here (1/19/10, 3:00 AM ET)
UPDATE 4: Report from Bob Mayo's blog here. (For those coming to this blog from outside Pittsburgh, Mayo is an excellent and reliable reporter from WTAE.)
UPDATE 3: Best advice from Chris Potter (Slag Heap at Pittsburgh City Paper) here
UPDATE 2: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story here. [Completely new article, same URL]
UPDATE: KDKA is reporting on a "secret mission" (well, not so secret if they broadcast it on their noon news). They report that 60 more children will be flown to the US from the BRESMA orphanage. A plane left Pittsburgh today with Rep. Jason Altmire, and ten doctors from UPMC and McMutrie family members. See the video here.
WPXI story here.
First, let's state from the start that the media has been mistaken in some of their reports; most notably when they claimed that all 150 children from the Brebis de Saint Michel de L'Attalaye (BRESMA) orphanage in Port-au-Prince -- run by Pittsburgh (Ben Avon) sisters Jamie and Ali McMutrie -- had received clearance to leave Haiti and come to Pittsburgh.
The children are in various states in the adoption process and many were never slated to be adopted in the US to begin with (for example, we've received numerous hits from France and the Netherlands in the last couple of days).
What's most important to know now is that the situation at BRESMA is still dire. Getting water and food into the walled-off orphanage is dangerous because there are Haitians understandably desperate for supplies surrounding it. At this point, the BRESMA orphanage probably needs security as much as supplies.
Those following the situation on Twitter at #BRESMA know that rumors abound and that people are "retweeting" old information. Virginia Montanez at her That's Church blog took the extraordinary step of removing several older blog posts so that people would not stumble upon outdated information, post rumors, or give out too much information in their comments which could possibly lead to breaches of security that could endanger the orphans. (I'm seeing GPS coordinates being tweeted publicly which I'm sure is a bad idea!)
What we all need to understand in this era of texting, IMing and tweeting is that the old saying, "A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on" is more true now than ever before.
That said, three sources -- CNN, WPXI and the KAS in Haiti blog -- are all reporting that five children from BRESMA have been evacuated to the US. These children were apparently all well along in the adoption process and had the most documentation available. Note that there is one main source for all these stories: Diana Boni. She has worked with BRESMA Orphanage directly for five years and is the Haiti Coordinator for Kentucky Adoption Services. However, CNN has actual video of children leaving Haiti on a military plane.
You can see WPXI's interview with Boni here (they've been repeating parts of it this morning). Her blog is here. She is quoted in Time Magazine here.
You can view the CNN update on BRESMA here (original CNN story here):
I would still highly recommend going to That's Church, @JanePitt on Twitter, and Ali Pace's Facebook page for McMutrie Family-verified information. It may be slower in coming, but that is because their top priority is the safety of all those concerned and because they are busy working to get all the kids out.