Earthquake in Haiti accelerates adoption for Moore County family

Posted February 18, 2010 4:34 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2010 6:17 p.m. EST

— Twenty-month-old Jefferson is still adjusting to his new home in Whispering Pines – a drastic contrast from the Haitian orphanage he lived before a magnitude- 7.0 earthquake struck there on Jan. 12.

“It’s kind of nice to have another little one around again,” said his adoptive mother Amie Fraley. “I forgot how busy that is sometimes, but it’s good.”

Jefferson is the fourth child for Fraley and her husband Chris. They have two biological children – 8-year-old Colette and 6-year-old Tavish – and a 3-year-old adopted daughter, Maya, from China.

They were matched with Jefferson through Carolina Adoption Services in Greensboro.

Because government paperwork can take months, the Fraleys weren't expecting Jefferson to arrive until late 2010. Then, the earthquake struck in Haiti.

Jefferson’s orphanage, the House of Angels in Tabarre, Haiti, crumbled from the aftershocks, but all of the children and staff made it out of the building safely, the Fraleys were told. The children were moved to a more secure building. Jefferson and 40 other orphans were recently flown to Miami.

The couple picked up Jefferson on Feb. 10 in Miami. When they first saw him, the boy was sleeping on a couch. They were told that “he fell asleep watching TV and playing with the kids,” Fraley said.

At first he was shy, but now he likes to snuggle, she said.

Jefferson is really small for his age, Fraley said.

“I had to go and buy some 6 and 9-month old pants for church on Sunday because all of his pants just fell right off of him,” she said. “We’re trying to beef him up a bit, feeding him lots of butter and cottage cheese.”

Fraley said the family is now planning a summer vacation.

“It’s neat to know that he’ll be with us instead of us waiting for him,” she said.