When the January 12 earthquake shook Haiti, it also shook Paul and Marisa Brinks, members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich. They and their children Alyssa, 8, and Austin, 6, were in the middle of adopting two orphans from Port-au-Prince.
“We were torn for the whole country, but devastated that the children we’ve bonded with might never come to us,” said Marisa.
The next few days were a flurry of activity, including phone calls, television coverage on local stations, as well as an appearance on CNN. It all ended with a flight to Miami on January 21 to bring home Samar, 6, and Aidan, 3, who arrived from Haiti with 80 other children.
“We feel complete,” said Paul, speaking of his family of six. Their adoption process began in June 2007. Paul explained that since the earthquake the United States government had expedited the adoptions in Haiti for those already in process by “allowing humanitarian parole where no visa or passport is needed.”
Looking ahead, Paul said their hopes for Samar and Aidan are the same as for their other two children. “To know and love the Lord,” he said. “We want all of them to have a servant attitude, and to give back.”