Five children from an orphanage in Haiti are being flown to Iowa where they’ll be united with their adoptive parents this evening. Matt and Mandy Poulter of Pella caught a flight into Haiti on Monday aboard an ABC-TV helicopter. The Poulters, with help from ABC and the office of Senator Tom Harkin, were able to locate their new daughter and four other children who are being adopted by two other families in Pella.
Mandy’s father, Don Buttry, says his daughter, son-in-law and the five kids are scheduled to arrive back in Pella just after 8 o’clock tonight. “It’s just been a wild time,” Buttry told Radio Iowa. “I mean, when we heard about the earthquake, it was devastating. The orphanage was in Port-au-Prince and we didn’t know where (the kids) were at, so it was just a frantic thing to find out what was going on.”
The orphanage sustained some damage, but was not destroyed. The Poulters were in Florida today buying warm clothes for the Haitian children to wear when they arrive in Iowa. Matt Poulter works for Pella Corporation, which chartered a jet to Florida to bring the couple bring back their new daughter, four-year-old Maya Esther.
“It’s hard to believe in less than a week we could find her, they could get down there and then get her back,” Buttry said. “It’s just unbelievable how everything came together.” Aid groups say tens of thousands of children have been orphaned by the earthquake. Buttry says Matt and Mandy, who now have four adopted and two biological children, are hoping to return to Haiti to rescue other orphans being adopted by U.S. families.
“That’s Matt and Mandy’s goal…to get as many children out and adopted as possible,” Buttry said. “We know there are a lot of road blocks, but they would definitely like to see all of the orphans brought out.” Matt Poulter serves on the board of directors for the Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance.