Latin America

Haitian Boy Finally Joins American Family

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Erin and Geoffrey Lancer i

Erin Lancer was in Haiti with Geoffrey when the earthquake occurred. Courtesy of Erin and Michael Lancer hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Erin and Michael Lancer
Erin and Geoffrey Lancer

Erin Lancer was in Haiti with Geoffrey when the earthquake occurred.

Courtesy of Erin and Michael Lancer

A few weeks ago, NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Erin and Michael Lancer, a couple who was in the middle of adopting a 3-year-old boy from Haiti when the earthquake struck. Erin was actually in Port-au-Prince visiting Geoffrey at the time of the quake, but she couldn't bring him back home to Buffalo, N.Y., because he didn't have a passport yet.

Michael says shortly after he and his wife spoke with NPR, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department issued a new policy that eased the way for some Haitian adoptions already in the works before the earthquake.

"Through the local elected officials such as Sen. Charles Schumer, we were able to keep the pressure on," Michael says. "There were some signs, some glimmers of hope, and every day we just got better and better news."

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Then came the best news.

"We got a call saying that Geoffrey was coming home," Erin says.

The Lancers flew down to Florida to meet his plane. "It was extremely exciting," Erin says. "He got to meet his brother and sister for the first time."

The new, bigger family waited a few days before flying home together to Buffalo, where the temperature was 17 degrees and snow covered the ground.

"He didn't know the word for snow," Erin says. "He calls it 'glisse' — which as far as we can tell means 'slippery' — and he likes to be pushed around on a sled outside. And he likes to throw snowballs.



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