Haiti's Orphans: Adjusting to Life in America

From forks to footie pajamas, families say orphans adjusting well.

ByABC News via logo
January 19, 2010, 1:47 PM

Jan. 29, 2010— -- It's been 17 days since a massive earthquake claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people in and around Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but for the hundreds of orphans that were brought to the U.S., less than three weeks has meant a world of difference.

Four-year-old Maya Ester has been here a little more than a week, and the American couple, who is in the final stages of adopting her, said the change from an orphanage in Haiti to a happy home in the small town of Pella, Iowa, has gone smoothly.

"She's adjusting really well, Robin," Matt Poulter told "Good Morning America" today as Maya Ester sat sleepily on his wife's lap. "She's getting a lot of attention, and she loves the attention. We're doing everything we can to shower her with love."

Have questions about adoptions in Haiti? Click here for our fact sheet.

According to the Poulters, Maya Ester is healthy and happy with her five new brothers and sisters, but she's not too fond of the family dog.

"It's a little chaotic around here and that just adds to it," Matt Poulter said.

Maya Ester is one of more than 500 orphans evacuated from Haiti in the past two weeks who have settled into new homes in more than 30 states across the U.S.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., 2-year-old twin brothers, Ethan and Brecken, are going through a similar adjustment since they were brought home by Tanya and Aaron Ramsey.

Other than small difficulties with novelties like forks and footie pajamas, the Ramseys said the brothers seem to love their new life.

"They're adjusting really well, loving life," Tanya Ramsey said. "They're eating, and they've been sleeping through the night."

The toughest adjustment for the twins, the Ramseys said, was getting over the fear that they would be left alone again.

"Ethan, he went hysterical" when the Ramseys left the home for a short time, Aaron Ramsey said. "He thought we were leaving. They're so used to people coming and going."