Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, arranged for the Poulters to get an emergency visa for Maya Ester.
"We celebrate this story, but in doing so, recognize that there are countless other stories that go untold and families that still need assistance," said Harkin. "This is a small victory given the scope of this disaster, but it is a touching story that shows out of devastation can still come hope."
After hours of uncertainty, the Poulters emerged with visas for Maya Ester and the four other children destined for Iowa, whose adoptions were underway before the earthquake. The other children will remain behind in Haiti, at least for now, and the Poulters returned them to the orphanage. Maya Ester and the four other children bound for Iowa went to the airport with the Poulters late last night.
The couple was met there by the director of the orphanage, who raised an objection to any of the children other than Maya Ester leaving for the U.S. with the Poulters until their adoptions were formally completed. Mandy Poulter told Robin Roberts that the couple will return in February for the four other children.
On "Good Morning America" Tuesday morning, Mandy Poulter told Robin Roberts that Maya Ester and the four other children were en route to Iowa.
"We are in Homestead, Florida...we're going to go through customs," Mandy said, on the phone from Florida. "We're going to get bussed to Miami International Airport."
Mandy said the children, who had never been on an airplane before, "are real troopers; they are very strong kids."
She joked with Roberts that even Miami seemed chilly to the children, who are used to the heat of Haiti. "Iowa might be a bit of a shock to them, weather wise," Mandy Poulter added.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it was enacting a wider program to temporarily allow more orphans from Haiti already matched with American families or in the midst of the adoption process to enter the United States.