'Absolutely Amazing': Iowa Couple Learns Adopted Haitian Daughter Survived Quake

Absolutely Amazing: Iowa Couple Learns Adopted Haitian Daughter Survived Quake

An Iowa couple anxiously awaiting news about its adopted Haitian daughter after this week's earthquake was overwhelmed to learn that ABC News, and Robin Roberts and her crew had located the child at her orphanage outside Port-au-Prince.

Matt and Amanda Poulter of Pella, Iowa, believed they were less than a month away from bringing home their 4-year-old adopted daughter, Maya Ester Poulter, from a Haitian orphanage. They were just waiting for her passport when the earthquake struck.

On "Good Morning America" today, Amanda Poulter said that "we're doing great. It was absolutely amazing. We, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for finding her."

The Haiti Miracle

As soon as the Poulters saw her picture, they knew it was their daughter.

"That's our little girl," Matt Poulter said.

"Maya is now legally our daughter," Poulter told "Nightline" Thursday. "If we were in Haiti, we'd be able to bring her home. But we're in the final stages now where we need to get the authorization to get a passport and then we can bring her home."

"Nightline" profiled the Poulters on Wednesday and Thursday's broadcasts.

When the Poulters decided to expand their family, they decided to adopt a child from Haiti. They "immediately bonded" with Maya Ester, Matt Poulter said today.


The Poulters have watched the little girl grow up since she was 19 months old, and for three years they have shuttled back and forth to Haiti to visit her at the Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance in Port-au-Prince, the country's stricken capital.

Maya Ester knows the Poulters as her "hoped for family."

Like so many others waiting to hear news about the relatives and loved ones, the Poulters waited and prayed for Maya Ester's safety -- and the safety of nine other children from the orphanage.

Upon hearing news of the earthquake, the Poulters' excitement immediately turned to grave concern for their daughter and the others at the orphanage.

"Immediately, we were thinking, 'Is she safe?'" said Matt Poulter. "'Where was she when this happened? Who was she with? Did she have somebody that could be there for her?'"

But for three excruciating days, they had been unable to reach the orphanage via phone or the Internet. They were desperate for information on Maya Ester.

Family's Message for Daughter in Haiti: 'Just Tell Her We Love Her'

The Poulters were left to imagine the worst. The only facts they had were the grim images they were seeing of so many trapped under the rubble. They feared their daughter was among the victims.

On Thursday, armed with directions from the Poulters, ABC News' Robin Roberts traveled to Maya Ester's orphanage in Port-au-Prince in search of the girl. In Haiti, the Poulters said, Maya Ester was known simply as "Ester."

Getting around was not easy. Roberts and her crew carefully navigated streets that were lined with homes that had been damaged but had not fallen down during the quake. They soon discovered that the orphanage still stood. It sustained only minor damage in the quake.

Outside, there was Maya Ester Poulter, frightened but safe.

Soon after identifying the child as Maya Ester, Roberts reached out to Amanda Poulter through Skype at her home in Iowa.

"We definitely found her," said Roberts. "I am looking at her right now. She's OK. She's not injured. She's ready to go home to Iowa."

Amanda Poulter was exuberant.

"You found Ester -- and it's her, at the orphanage?!" she asked.

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