Adopted Haitian girl adjusting to north suburbs

January 25, 2010 2:59:04 PM PST
A north suburban mother is just back from Haiti with a new addition to her family. She returned from Florida after picking up her adoptive daughter We first met Elaine Morgan and her daughter last week. They had a difficult and hectic journey getting the little girl home. Today we checked back with the Morgan family.

"I'm having trouble remembering that last week she wasn't here. She's just made herself at home. The kids are interacting with her. It's like she's always been here," said Elaine Morgan, adoptive parent.

Last Friday, Elaine Morgan arrive at Midway Airport with other parents holding their newly adopted children from Haiti. They hurriedly went to Florida to meet a plane of Haitian orphans after the earthquake.

Three days later we visit with Morgan at home with little Djoude and one of Morgan's older daughters, 7-year-old z-. The girls play easily.

Morgan says Djoude is reserved around strangers, but the little girl has warmed to Morgan and the family.

"She laughs, she giggles...She's very animated she's very, very fun," said Morgan.

It's unclear Djoude's age. Her birth certificate says she's 4 1/2, but Morgan a pediatric oncologist doubts the accuracy.

Djoude is HIV positive. Her biological mother died when she was an infant. Her father brought her to the orphanage. She was malnourished and ill, hospitalized for four months with tuberculosis.

"All of what she's been through, it can't just be gone, it has to be there somewhere, and sooner or later we're gonna see it," said Morgan.

For now we see little Djoude is adapting to being the newest member of the Morgan family with options and opportunity she would not have had in Haiti.

On Friday, six Haitian children arrived with the Chicago families. This period they call the honeymoon phase. After that, the work to help the children learn English and address their needs begins in earnest.