Wednesday, January 20, 2010
At least seven of the 54 orphans from a Port-au-Prince orphanage run by two Ben Avon sisters are with their adoptive families.
Catrina and Nathan Brock of Georgia had been trying to adopt Dania for over four years. Last week a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. In its aftermath, the U.S. is waiving visa requirements on humanitarian grounds for Haitian children already in the pipeline for adoption. As part of the first wave of those adoptions, seven-year-old Dania arrived in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Wednesday her adoption became final.
Catrina Brock says the earthquake’s effects on their daughter are obvious.
"I think she’s a sensitive child and this is an experience that has marked her in some way. I can tell from meeting her this time, she’s more subdued and a little more sullen," she said.
As happy as the Brocks are to be with their daughter they say the situation in Haiti doesn’t fully allow them to be happy.
Dania lived in an orphanage run by two local sisters. They appealed for help resulting in a rescue mission that included Governor Rendell.
Another child, Jimmy, age 11, was adopted by Brian and Debbie Lepp of Washington state. They had been trying to adopt him for over 2 years. They spoke with reporters on Wednesday.
The remaining 47 orphans are in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Within a week they may be with their adoptive families or placed in foster care.