Two orphans from Haiti who were adopted by a Glendive family have arrived in Montana. John and Kristen Marble had been working for four years to adopt now 9-year-old Florencia and 8-year-old Viergine. The paperwork was nearly complete when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, devastating Port-au-Prince, where the girls lived in an orphanage. Since then, the Marbles and a dozen other Montana families who were adopting Haitian orphans sought to speed up the process, getting help from Sens. Max Baucus and John Tester and Rep. Denny Rehberg in finalizing the paperwork needed for the children to leave the country. John Marble flew to Florida to pick up Florencia and Viergine and arrived in Billings with them Tuesday afternoon. "It's a relief to be done and home," John Marble said. "We've been in crisis mode for so long." "It's a dream I wasn't sure would come true after the last four years," Kristin Marble added. The Marbles now have 10 children ranging in age from 4 to 17 years. Five of them — four Ukranian siblings and a boy from Russia — are also adopted. Marble, coach of the Dawson Community College women's volleyball team, said the family has made a point of adopting older kids, who are sometimes harder to place. "It's great to see their smiles," he said. "This is some stability for them now." The girls were greeted by their new mom and siblings as well as three Billings residents who showed up with balloons and stuffed animals, even though they didn't know the family. Cathlene Barone said giving the girls a warm welcome seemed appropriate after their long journey. "How can you not come and just welcome these children?" She asked. "You ask, 'Why?' But I ask, 'Why not?'" After putting on new coats and mittens, the girls headed outside to experience snow for the first time.
Orphans from Haiti arrive in Montana
Published: Thursday, January 28th, 2010
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