Who We Are

Where are they now? An update on the orphans from Haiti

Can it really have been five years?

Five years since the earth cracked and crumbled and, in less than a minute, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives on the island of Haiti?

On Jan 12, 2010, that cataclysm launched three children on a frantic, highly publicized odyssey.

For Stanley and Kensly Owens, now 16 and 12, journey’s end is a warm McCandless kitchen, where, on a recent January evening, the talk and teasing was about soccer (good), homework (not so good), girls (no comment) and food (yes please). The boys attend North Allegheny schools.

“Put that back, you,” said Carmen Owens playfully to her son Stanley, who had reached into a plastic bag for a roll to nibble on — just before a dinner of meatball subs.

“Aw, my favorite snack,” he said, grinning.

It’s much the same for Fekens Dusch, now 15, who arrived with no formal schooling and no English but is now managing ninth-grade-level math classes and living with his family in a cozy house in the city’s Bon Air neighborhood.

The three were among 54 children living in an orphanage near Port-Au-Prince when they were swept up in a dramatic airlift led by then-Gov. Ed Rendell, arriving in Pittsburgh Jan. 18, 2010.

While most of the children were quickly placed with their adoptive parents, these three boys were among 12 children without adoption proceedings in progress when the earthquake struck, but their caretakers at Bresma orphanage, Ben Avon sisters Jamie and Ali McMutrie, refused to leave without them.

At first the boys lived at Holy Family Institute in Emsworth and then, after red tape was untangled, they were adopted by two families.

Read more at the Post-Gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2015/01/11/Five-years-on-three-Haiti-orphans-are-settled-in-their-Pittsburgh-lives/stories/201501080263