WARRENSBURG - A four-year-old child, until recently a Haitian orphan, gazed into a laptop computer, while his new adoptive father, Jim Corriveau of Warrensburg gave him a hug.
"Jeanne Marie.....Kiki.... Famesa.....Celinda......Dianna," Jean said with a broad grin as he spoke the names, in choppy Creole phrases, of the other youngsters he played with at the "For His Glory" orphanage in Haiti.
That was until the devastating earthquake occurred Jan. 12 in Port au Prince, turning buildings into rubble, and killing 170,000 or more adults and children.
By some miracle, For His Glory orphanage was spared, Corriveau said. The only people directly connected to the orphanage that were victims of the quake were the resident director, who was injured and a nanny who died when a protective concrete wall around the orphanage collapsed, Corriveau said.
"We thank God, the orphanage was one of the few buildings that stood up in the earthquake," he said. "People say it was a miracle."
Back in Warrensburg in the hours after the quake, Jim and Beth Corriveau were glued to their computer to receive updates on the orphans, particularly news about Jean, who they were in the process of adopting before the quake ripped apart life in Haiti.
Minutes after the quake, the Corriveaus were on the Internet, attempting to secure a plane flight to Haiti to see if the bureaucratic red tape could be avoided, so they could bring Jean safely to Warrensburg.
Just because the children's lives were spared didn't mean life was easy for Jean and the other orphans - In the days after the quake, desperate looters with machine guns raided the orphanage, taking the children's rations and water.
Although a Fox News Crew moved into the orphanage thereafter and offered some protection, life and safety didn't improve much for the children.