Evacuated to U.S. After Earthquake, Haitian Orphan's Adoption Is Finalized

After Haiti earthquake, parents lost touch and were frantic with worry.

ByABC News via logo
April 7, 2010, 9:47 PM

April 8, 2010— -- An orphaned, Haitian girl who was evacuated after this year's devastating earthquake has been officially adopted by an Iowa couple.

Matt and Mandy Poulter had been finalizing their adoption of Maya Ester, 4, when the earthquake shook Port-au-Prince Jan. 12.

The Poulters of Pella, Iowa, were beside themselves with worry for the girl.

With Port-au-Prince in shambles and most major communications down, the Poulters couldn't make contact with the orphanage where Maya Ester was living while they awaited a visa for her.

Click HERE to read more about Maya Ester's incredible journey on Robin Roberts' page.

Like so many others waiting to hear news about loved ones, the couple prayed for their daughter's safety but were left to imagine the worst.

After three excruciating days of being unable to reach the orphanage via phone or the Internet, they gave the ABC News program "Nightline" directions to the Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance near Port-au-Prince.

"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts and her crew drove through the broken streets until they found the orphanage. It was damaged, but Maya Ester and other children there were all right, frightened but safe.

Mandy Poulter was exuberant when Roberts, via Skype, gave her the news.

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

Through her tears, Poulter gave Roberts a message to convey to the girl, who was known simply as "Ester" in Haiti: "Can you tell her that Mommy and Daddy love her and we will come as soon as we can to bring her home," she said. "Just tell her we love her, and give her a hug and tell her Mommy and Daddy will be there."

Roberts whispered the message into the sleeping child's ear: "Ester, your mom and dad love you, and they are going to be coming to get you as soon as they can."

Wearing her special "adoption day" pin, Maya Ester headed Wednesday to a Marion County court in Knoxville, Iowa, for the final step in her adoption journey.