Couple adopts four Haitian children - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Couple adopts four Haitian children


By Jeff Angileri - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

BELOIT (WKOW) -- When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, Matt and JoAnne Ruch feared the worst.

The Beloit couple was in the process of adopting three Haitian children when the earthquake struck.

"It was really terrifying," Matt said. "We couldn't get in contact with anyone down there. The cell phones weren't working."

The children are living in Bon Repos, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

"We thought, do they have enough water? Are they safe? Do they have enough food?" said JoAnne.

"The amount of people that live in Port-au-Prince alone -- seeing all the buildings crumble and fall -- you knew it was going to be tragic," Matt said. "A lot of lives lost."

Then, on Sunday, the Ruchs got a call from their adoption agency, telling them their kids were safe, and all three would be coming to America at the same time.

"We were originally told our one's sons adoption was impossible. It wasn't going to happen. We were praying for a miracle," JoAnne said.

The miracle is possible thanks to a new U.S. government policy, which makes it easier for Americans to adopt Haitian orphans.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the policy is aimed at helping children get the care they need after Haiti's devastating earthquake.

Matt Ruch said it can take up to four years to adopt a child from Haiti -- this time the process took only a year.

The Ruchs already adopted a son from Haiti, 4-year-old Montgomery, and with Moses, Johanne, and Equento about to move to Beloit, their family is on top of the world.

"I'm relieved, excited, shell shocked, over the moon," JoAnne said. "It's amazing. It's a miracle."

The children are scheduled to fly to Chicago on Monday. The building the children lived in is still in tact, but damaged enough that the children are sleeping outside.

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