Girls adopted from Haiti arrive in Oakland

March 8, 2010 9:15:19 PM PST
As they play on a swing set in an Oakland backyard, two little Haitian girls are taking great joy in experiencing the simplest things for the very first time. Whether it is riding a swing or trying a new food, 7-year-old Naomi and 4-year-old Ruth are taking it all in. Their adoptive mother Mary Chew, an Oakland missionary, called watching her girls play so far away from their homeland "surreal."

The girls arrived Sunday from Haiti, after a stopover in Miami. They were brought here by Chew, who was living with the girls in a village outside Port-au-Prince. They lived in a typical apartment, with no running water or electricity. Things only got more primitive after the Jan 12 earthquake.

Chew met Ruth and Naomi three years ago in an orphanage. A lengthy adoption process was derailed completely when disaster struck.

"When the earthquake happened in Haiti, I thought it was all finished," Chew said. "My girls would never come home to America, because everything was destroyed."

Chew believes the Haitian attorney who was helping with the adoption died in the quake and all her adoption documents were lost in the rubble.

With nothing to prove her legal guardianship of Naomi and Ruth, Chew had to lobby both United States and Haitian officials to allow her to continue the adoption process. Chew's case was further delayed when a group of American Baptists tried to smuggle 33 children out of Haiti.

"I felt like 'Wow, do they understand what they have done?'" Chew said.

Last week, Chew was finally granted permission to leave Haiti with Naomi and Ruth. For now, the three will stay with relatives knowing that adapting to their new life could take some time. The girls are already well on their way to learning English.

"I will stay home with them and home school them until September," Chew said. "And then prayerfully enter them into the school system."

Those wishing to provide assistance to Chew and the girls may make donations to Youth With A Mission-Haiti.

Youth With A Mission-Haiti
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501

Donations must identify 'Mary Chew' as the recipient in a note accompanying the gift.

All donations are tax deductible.

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