Navigating Misfortune And Joy


In the wake of the earthquake, John Seabrook adopted a girl from Haiti. He marks the anniversary of the disaster:

The truth is, I don’t want to associate the earthquake with Rose. And in some ways her arrival seems divorced from the earthquake or even from Haiti. She is our child now, not a refugee or a victim, not an orphan any longer. The small everyday responsibilities of being a parentchanging diapers, wiping a runny nose, reminding her to draw only on the paper, feeling pride in her accomplishments (she is incredibly smart, and that’s not just coming from a proud dad) and sometimes feeling overwhelmed by how much energy a small child takesthis is the stuff that’s real, and next to it the cosmic coincidence of her getting here seems like an grim abstraction.

(Photo: A mourner holds rosary beads outside the destroyed Port-au-Prince cathedral January 12, 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Today is the one-year anniversary of the magnitude 7.0 Haitian earthquake which killed over 200,000 people. By Mario Tama/Getty Images)