Concern for the orphans of Haiti may have Democrats and Republicans reaching across the aisle, but it's also been a salve for some more recent wounds.
Before speaking about a bipartisan effort to expedite the 900 Haitian adoptions approved prior to the Jan. 12. earthquake, Sen. Amy Klobuchar had something a bit off-topic to say to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
"I thank Senator Landrieu for her leadership, though I don't thank her for the Saints beating the Vikings," Klobuchar joked. "But that's okay."
Turning serious, Klobuchar repeated her commitment to streamlining and accelerating the process for American families trying to adopt from Haiti. The senator met with some of the Minnesota families waiting for 40 children from Haiti this weekend.
"These are trying times for these families and these kids," she said. "The sooner we can cut through the red tape and bring them home, the better for everyone."
She also provided an update on the story of Betsy Sathers,
a Blaine woman who decided to adopt after her husband, Scott, died in the 35W bridge collapse. Sathers was in the process of adopting twins from Haiti when the earthquake struck. Klobuchar said the twins, Ross and Alyse, arrived in Minnesota on Saturday.
"They are now back in Minnesota with her, in her arms," Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar called for Congress to change the adoption process and mentioned her own bill which would allow some adopted children to be immunized in the United States, as opposed to in their home countries.
While aid groups such as Save the Children and World Vision have urged the United States to stop all new Haitian adoptions until the country has had some time to recover, Landrieu said this isn't the time to shut down processes for adoption, but the time to accelerate it.
Klobuchar agreed. "These children [in the adoption process], in the crassest way, are taking up beds in an orphanage that could be used for another child."
Sens. Klobuchar, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa are among those calling for quicker adoptions for Haitian orphans.
Hayley Tsukayama is an intern at the Star Tribune's Washington bureau.