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Haitian Children Begin Adjustment to Life in Pella

Posted: Thursday, January 21st, 2010 at 6:29 am

A whirlwind seven-day span for the adopted children of three Pella families came to an emotional and exciting climax Tuesday night, ending with the five Haitian orphans getting to sleep in their new homes for the first time. The next step for the youngsters will be the life transition from an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to homes in Pella, Iowa. Andrea Vanderhoff, who added seven-year-old Roselande and four-year-old Carl to the family with her husband Dave, says the first night at home as a family was exciting for everyone.

“Our three kids that were here previously were just very excited to show them around and show them their rooms and show them everything,” said Vanderhoff. “They went and they saw their beds, and they seemed a little reluctant, but excited.”

Matt and Mandy Poulter, who made the trip to Haiti to get the five children and bring them back, adopted a 4-year-old girl, Maya, and Mandy says the family’s other children will help Maya with the transition.

“I think for her [Maya] it will be more of an adjustment culturally,” said Poulter. “She really likes kids, and even when we got home, she got woken up and she was running around with our kids and playing with the balloons. They had picked out a bike for her, and she was riding around on her bike. She likes kids very well, so I think that will help a lot having her brothers and sisters to play with.”

The third Pella family, Les and Tracy Fuller, also adopted a girl, Roselaure, and a boy, Wilkenson; who are cousins of the siblings that the Vanderhoffs adopted. There were a total of nine orphans living together at the orphanage in Port-au-Prince, and hopes are to have the remaining four Haitian children be adopted by other families in Pella so all of the children can continue to see each other.