Friday, April 30, 2010 at 5:43 AM
Given the title, you might think this commentary is about the fact that – after playing the mother of an adopted black boy in the movie The Blind Side – actress Sandra Bullock revealed this week that she has adopted a black baby in real life. It is not.
Yet I shall take this opportunity to commend Sandra for subjecting her maternal instincts to the four-year process involved in adopting her child from Katrina-ravaged New Orleans instead of following the Madonna-Jolie fashion of flying off to Africa to buy one on the spot … as if it were a celebrity perk.
That said, this commentary is actually about some white folks in a Texas town who adopted the (all black) members of Haiti’s national soccer team recently. Of course I use the term “adopted” rather loosely; since their intent was not to parent but to help them prepare for international competition.
Here, in part, is how Janet Shamlian reported this heart-warming story on the April 28 edition of NBC Nightly News:
With putting greens, swimming pools, and tennis courts, the T Bar M is a family vacation spot. But for two weeks for Haiti’s national soccer team, it’s been a home away from their homeland.
“We definitely said yes before we had a plan. It was bring them and we’ll figure it out. And we did.” (Mary Jaffeth, associate executive director of the San Antonio Sports Foundation)
Back home there was no way to prepare. Their building is in ruin, their field filled with tents…. And so it became what you might call a community adoption: from a grocery chain donating food to doctors treating aches and pains. Haiti’s team is getting ready for next week’s match with Argentina deep in the heart of Texas…
“If they win it would lift the spirit of their nation and we want them to have every opportunity to do the very best that they can and not feel that they’re at an incredible deficit for not having had a field to practice on or a place to stay or good food to eat.” (Mary Japhet)
Despite the passion for the game, the players know next week’s match isn’t entirely about soccer.
With a helping hand, playing for Haiti with a goal of easing a nation’s pain.
So here’s to Sandra and the good folks of San Antonio for reminding us of the importance of showing love and compassion towards those displaced by natural disasters as well as the simply forsaken even when it’s not so fashionable to do so.