Adoption leads to a heart for Haiti . . .
by Karin L. Nauber
When Wes and Jillian Wagner from Baxter wanted to adopt, they thought of Haiti and began an adoption process in 2011. It took them four years to actually bring their two adoptees home to Minnesota, though.
They have six kids altogether including eight-year-olds Kaiya and Josiah.
They first met the children when they were babies, but the adoption process was slow.
But perhaps God had a hand in that. The Wagners made numerous trips to Haiti to see their children, perform necessary paperwork and to start bonding with them. And through it all, they developed a heart for Haiti and the horrible conditions that face those people every day.
In 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the country of Haiti and they have yet to recover from its effects. Many major aftershocks added to the devastation.
Wes said that part of it was because the concrete buildings were put up with no rebar so they simply collapsed when the earth began to shake.
Over 300,000 people were killed as a result of the quake and another 1.5 million people were left homeless. Much of the country is still in ruins with thousands still living in tent cities.
When Wes first went to Haiti, it was about a year after the earthquake.
“It was a big culture shock because it was so different and so baffling. When we first got off the plane, I looked for the airport. It was a tin shed because the airport had been severely damaged. There were people everywhere,” he said.
First they lost their luggage. Once that was found, they looked for their driver.