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Adoptive families arrive with children from Haiti

Posted - Feb. 1, 2010 at 4:05 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Families who have been waiting anxiously to get their adopted children out of Haiti are breathing a sigh of relief. Many of the kids arrived in Salt Lake City Monday.

Family members shed tears of joy as flights arrived with the children from Haiti.

"It's just a miracle to be here. It's a miracle she's alive, and it's a miracle to be home with her," said adoptive parent Carol Carroll.

For many families, adoption of the children had been in the works for months or years when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Jan. 12. Then, parents were unsure if the children were alive and if the adoptions would go through.

Adoptive families arrive with children from Haiti

Trevor and Lindsay Crapo now have five new children, added to their four others at home in Pocatello, Idaho.

"My wife and I originally started adopting almost four years ago," Trevor explained. "One of them passed away. Throughout the process, my wife ended up working for the orphanage that we were adopting our children from. After three and a half years going over there, you just fall in love with the kids. So we ended up with five."

"We have a 1-year-old, two 4-year-olds, a 6-year-old and a 16-year-old that we're adopting, so quite a spread," Trevor added.

For 48 hours after the devastating earthquake hit, the Crapos didn't know whether the children were alive.

Adoptive families arrive with children from Haiti

"We spent days and days just trying to get through there and communicate, and trying to get a hold of our orphanage director. Amazingly, all 224 children were found safe. Two out of the three of our orphanages collapsed, but luckily, all the kids were OK," Trevor said.

"It's surreal," Lindsay said. "It's surreal to have them home finally."

After gaining clearance from Haiti's prime minister to leave the country, the children boarded a plane and headed to Miami, then Houston, and now Salt Lake.

For kids who had never even seen a plane, it was both exciting and terrifying.

"The turbulence starts shaking, and they all start screaming," Lindsay said. "And I had to stand up and say, 'It's not the earthquake, babies. It's avion. It's the airplane. It's going to be OK. It's going to be OK.'"

Now they're starting a new life with new parents in a new place.

"I'm going to go home and see my other babies, and I'm going to tuck all nine of my kids in under one roof for the first time," Lindsay said.

These families were part of the 141 orphans rescued by the Utah Hospital Task Force last week.

There are still nine orphans who were left behind because the Haitian government said they needed updated fingerprints. Some of their adoptive parents are from Utah, and they are still trying to get them home.

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Story compiled with information from Jennifer Stagg, Marc Giauque and Nicole Gonzales.

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