After quake, pace of Haitian adoptions picks up

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by DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

wfaa.com

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 20 at 9:06 AM

ALEDO — The Haiti earthquake has left thousands of children without parents. But even before the disaster, the island nation had 380,000 orphaned children.

The United States government is now making it easier for Americans to adopt them.

Christi and John Barnes of Aledo are waiting for their phone to ring for a final bit of news about a little girl named Eva.

"When the earthquake occurred it was devastating to us," said John, who works as a youth minister at Trinity Bible Church.

For the last six years, the Barnes have led missions to a Haitian orphanage located 40 miles from the capital, Port-au-Prince.

They had just returned from the country one day before the earthquake hit on January 12.

"All I could think of with my beautiful children here at my feet and awesome husband and the many blessings we share as Americans is: I would give anything to be in Haiti right now," Christi Barnes said.

There are many children at the orphanage needing her help, but Eva in particular.

The couple had hoped to adopt the girl by February, and it took several days before they got the call that she — and everyone at the orphanage — was okay.

Then came even better news — Eva's adoption had been expedited.

At 7 a.m. Tuesday, the child was taken to the American consulate, where she is now awaiting clearance to come to America — and her new Texas family.

"All the emotion changed from ... almost numb by the end of the week to joy and hope," Christi said.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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