At this point my folks are now in an apartment. They were able to find some temporary housing just outside of Manila and have signed a six month agreement. While we would very much like them to come back to the United States, we know that this is a tough time for the family as not everyone has been found/heard from.
At this point, we have heard from half a dozen cousins, two of mom's siblings, and unconfirmed safety reports via other family members. I can only imagine the not knowing at this point. I know I look forward to seeing my parents but I also know that we won't be able to celebrate our reunion with many others in our family. My hope is that while we wait for official certified documentation from various counties here in the US for our passports, that more and more family members will emerge. It would be a blessing and a true miracle if they were all confirmed alive and well prior to our arrival.
Holly and I are currently waiting on paperwork, as mentioned-certified documentation. Our goal is to leave sometime in the first week of December and stay for a minimum of 15 days. At this point, from the research, flights currently have a 24-48 hour layover-either in the US or Japan. So we plan to budget those days in so that we have a good 15 days with my folks.
We also hope to bring our 2 year old son, Noah, with us on this journey as we no longer will be going to the various other parts of the Philippine Islands. Our plan is to stay in Manila where there is clean water, food, and a place to stay. This is not only doctor's orders but a logical choice in minimizing our exposure to the hardships still very real in those parts hardest hit.
In closing, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We have already sent over $1,000 to help my family, many of whom can't afford housing and are living with my folks and are in need of food and clothing. You can still help by clicking THE LATHROP FAMILY RELIEF FUND.
*There is no need to create an account. Towards the middle of the Paypal page click the "continue" link to donate with either debit or credit card.