Two years ago, a missionary visited the Berean Baptist Church in Adrian, Mich., with four Haitian children. It was at that moment Marie Grow knew she wanted to adopt a Haitian child.
Two years ago, a missionary visited the Berean Baptist Church in Adrian, Mich., with four Haitian children.
It was at that moment Marie Grow knew she wanted to adopt a Haitian child.
“I asked him if I could adopt a Haitian child,” she said. “And he said 'Yes, are you ready?'”
Without hesitation, Grow said she was ready.
It took more than two years, but Marie Grow and her husband, Richard, finally brought Keke to their home.
The 10-year-old Haitian girl arrived Tuesday at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, but Marie Grow said picking her up wasn't that easy. Keke and more than 130 other Haitian children arrived at the airport on a cargo plane, and Grow said several hours had passed before she was able to take her child home. She said many other potential parents had been waiting for more than a day.
Thankfully, this chaotic meeting wasn't the first time Keke and the Grows had met each other.
The trio originally met in November at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, where Keke had been living since her parents abandoned her three years ago.
The three spent one week together, but they had been communicating together with each other for more than year.
Originally from Bordeaux, France, Marie Grow had no trouble talking to Keke, who speaks Creole, a dialect of French.
“She started calling us 'Maman' and 'Papa' right away,” she said.
She said her experience in Port-au-Prince was wonderful, but the conditions of the Haitian capital were appalling even before the earthquakes.
“I don't think it was much better than it is now. It was in shambles then,” she said.
However, it was those same earthquakes that brought Keke and the Grows together.
“The earthquake sped up the process,” Grow said. “I don't think we were originally supposed to get her because of the waiting process until April.”
Surviving the earthquake and the loss of friends, Grow said Keke has been through quite a bit.
“She's doing very well so far considering what she's been through,” Grow said. “It's only her second day here.”
The new parents said she was advised to avoid any mention of the earthquakes because the shock was still too fresh for Keke.
Keke will start school Monday.
“She's very excited to start,” Grow said.
Hilldale Daily News