Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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 Haitian orphans adjusting well to Maritime life

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MessageSujet: Haitian orphans adjusting well to Maritime life   Mer 11 Jan 2012 - 19:36

Thursday marks the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, a disaster that devastated the country but also struck a Maritime family particularly hard.

Melissa and Gerry Naugler were waiting to finalize the adoption of two children from an orphanage there when the country was hit.

The orphanage was flattened when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on January 12, 2010 and the Naugler family lost contact with the orphanage for two days.

At the time they had no idea if the children were safe, but two weeks later, Dakencia and her brother Dieulando arrived at the Naugler's home in Moncton.

The family learned that children in the orphanage had been moved to a soccer field after the earthquake and they were eventually airlifted out of Haiti, before arriving in Moncton two weeks later.

"It's going great," says 12-year-old Dakencia. "Sometimes we have a rough spot, but we get over it."

Gerry Naugler says bringing the uprooted children into an established family unit has been a learning experience for him and his wife Melissa, but so far the transition has been a smooth one.

"Learning their personalities and how to parent them because we didn't have them at birth, Dakencia came to us as an older child, so we had to learn her personality and learn how to parent her and how to help her cope in different situations," says Gerry Naugler.

The family has kept in contact with officials in Haiti and their daughter Jerrica is raising money for a relief trip in September. Dakencia and Dieulando also have regular contact with their biological mother.

"On Mother's Day I really try to send her some information," says Melissa Naugler. "A letter that really sends something from what Dakencia would want to say to her, so there is a communication there."

She says the children also speak with their mother via cell phone from time to time.

The pair has had to adjust to life in Moncton since moving from Haiti, but they say they are doing well and like going to school. Like many children her age, Dakencia enjoys playing video games, while her younger brother likes to play basketball. They've also had to adjust to the Canadian climate.

"I think it's amazing because…I've never seen any snow and I just like it," says Dakencia.

But they say a few flurries is a relatively small hurdle compared to what the growing family has already had to deal with.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan M
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