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22 Haitian orphans adopted amidst smiles and cheers

4:24 PM, Jul 6, 2010   |    comments
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"Family and friends, should I grant this adoption?" Judge Sylvester said each time.

The crowd inside Courtroom 309 never seemed to hesitate in their replies.

"Yes," they would proclaim each and every time.

"To see [the children] all here - we've seen where they were before - it's surreal. It's really something," said Judy Wagner, the representative from the local adoption agency responsible for linking the parents and children together. "This has just been an incredible journey for them."

Wagner is with Chinese Children Adoption International which worked with a Haitian orphanage to bring the kids over to the United States.

Six months ago, most of the children were living in tents just outside of a crumbling orphanage in Port-au-Prince. The January earthquake decimated many of the buildings in the area.

This earthquake certainly hastened the plan to get the children over here.

"It got sped up quite a bit," Gurdev Rai said on Tuesday.

He and Caroline Guillebaud were set to adopt a boy named Lovendy, but before the earthquake they were told it would take perhaps as many as three years to get him to Colorado.

"About a week after [the earthquake], we got a call," Rai said.

Not too long after that, Lovendy was on a plane bound for the U.S.

On Tuesday, 14-month-old Lovendy came to the front of Judge Sylvester's courtroom in Rai's hands with a smile on his face.

"Hi," he kept telling anyone who would look at him.

The judge asked his soon-to-be parents a few questions and a few minutes later, Lovendy received a new last name.

"His name is now changed to Lovendy Rai," the judge said.

The crowd cheered.

Lovendy simply kept smiling.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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