NC couple adopts Haitian boys who survived earthquake

Hickory, NC - HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - It has been six months since an earthquake devastated Haiti killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving even more homeless.

Among the victims were thousands of children who were left orphaned, and still more who were orphans before the quake with no place to live afterwards.

Before the earthquake hit, Chris and Melissa Petersen of Hickory were trying to adopt two Haitian brothers who had been living in an orphanage for years.

After the earthquake, the adoption process accelerated.  By February, 6-year-old Judah and 4-year-old Elijah were living in their new home with the Petersens.

"They are two more blessings for our family," said Chris Petersen.

The Petersens are not strangers to the adoption process.  Chris Petersen not only works for an adoption ministry, but he and his wife have adopted 8 children in all, including the two brothers from Haiti.

"Quite a family," said Chris Petersen.

Elijah is a bit shy when talking with people outside his new family.  Judah, on the other hand, is outgoing and always willing to talk.  On Thursday, he spoke of the earthquake and what he saw.

"A lot of shaking and I see people die," Judah said.

Those are memories the Petersens hope will fade away in time.

The two boys could not speak English when they first arrived, but they now know basic English.

They also can ride bikes and do all the other things children do which are things they never had a chance to do in Haiti.

Chris Petersen says the two have adapted better than anyone could have hoped.

"They are a part of this family, and it now feels like they've always been here," he said.

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