Six Haitian or­phans re­sume jour­ney to U.S. homes, board air­plane bound for Mi­ami

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIED -

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Six Haitian or­phans boarded an air­plane to the United States on Wed­nes­day, four days af­ter Haitian po­lice seized them out of fear they were be­ing kid­napped.

“ They were un­be­liev­ably ex­cited to be go­ing home,” said Maria O’Dono­van, field di­rec­tor of the or­phan­age in north­ern Haiti. She said the chil­dren were singing songs — in­clud­ing “ Wheels on the Bus” and “B-I-N-G-O” — on the way to the air­port.

“I was just so re­lieved to see the plane take off,” she said. “I’m so ex­cited for their par­ents.”

The wait­ing new fam­i­lies can take the chil­dren home on Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to Jan Bon­nema, the Min­nesota-based founder of the Chil­dren of The Prom­ise or­phan­age.

Sara Vanzee and her hus­band, Tim, waited for their 13-mon­thold son Al­bert to ar­rive. They un­der­stand the sus­pi­cions in Haiti given re­cent cases, but said their or­deal has been stress­ful.

“Our hope is that they’re OK with it, that they can see that we ab­so­lutely love th­ese chil­dren and that we want to pro­vide for them,” said Vanzee, who is from the U.S. Mid­west.

On Satur­day, a group of 20 men blocked four women ac­com­pany- ing the or­phans to the air­port, shout­ing: “ You can’t take our chil­dren!” Po­lice briefly de­tained the women and the or­phans — ages 1-5 — spent three night sleep­ing on the ground in a tent city. The U.S. Em­bassy of­fi­cial car­ry­ing the doc­u­ments needed to take them through im­mi­gra­tion had been run­ning late.

At the very mo­ment when Haiti’s im­pov­er­ished chil­dren are in great­est need — and wellmean­ing for­eign­ers are most will­ing to help — fears of child traf­fick­ing are mak­ing it harder than ever for them to leave the West­ern Hemi­sphere’s poor­est land.

Those con­cerns have been fu­eled by the ar­rest last month of 10 U.S. mis­sion­ar­ies try­ing to take a bus­load of 33 chil­dren to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic without proper doc­u­men­ta­tion. It turned out none of the chil­dren were or­phans, and the Amer­i­cans were ar­rested; two re­main in jail in Port-au-Prince.

Thou­sands of des­per­ate Haitian par­ents, un­able to care for their own chil­dren, have ea­gerly given the youngsters away in hopes of giv­ing them a bet­ter life. At the same time, they are ter­ri­fied they will be tricked by preda­tors who will en­slave or sex­u­ally abuse the chil­dren. BOS­TON (AP) — The brother of fig­ure skater Nancy Ker­ri­gan, charged with as­sault­ing his fa­ther in their home shortly be­fore he died, was re­leased from cus­tody Wed­nes­day af­ter his fam­ily posted his US$10,000 bail.

Daniel Ker­ri­gan, 70, died last month af­ter a fight with his son, Mark Ker­ri­gan. Pros­e­cu­tors charged Mark Ker­ri­gan with as­sault and have said they are con­sid­er­ing whether to up­grade the charge.

Ker­ri­gan, 45, was freed on bail a day af­ter he com­pleted a psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion at Bridgewater State Hospi­tal. As a con­di­tion of his release, he must wear a global po­si­tion­ing de­vice and be mon­i­tored for al­co­hol con­sump­tion.

Nancy Ster­ling, a spokes­woman for the Ker­ri­g­ans, said the fam­ily is “de­lighted to have Mark back with them.”

A judge ruled last week, over the ob­jec­tions of pros­e­cu­tors, that Ker­ri­gan can re­turn to live with his mother in the fam­ily’s Stone­ham home, where the al­leged as­sault took place.

A state med­i­cal ex­am­iner ruled that Daniel Ker­ri­gan’s cause of death was “car­diac dys­rhyth­mia”— a loss or in­ter­rup­tion of a nor­mal heart­beat that can lead to car­diac ar­rest — af­ter a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with neck com­pres­sion that dam­aged his wind­pipe. The find­ings also noted that the elder Ker­ri­gan had high blood pres­sure and clogged ar­ter­ies.

The Ker­ri­gan fam­ily dis­putes the find­ings and says Daniel Ker­ri­gan had a pre-ex­ist­ing heart con­di­tion.

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