Larry and Liz Warren with their adopted son, Sterli, in Haiti.
A Virginia pastor and his wife introduced their new son -- just arrived from Haiti -- to his new family at Dulles International Airport Tuesday morning. Grandparents, aunts and uncles swarmed 1-year-old Sterly.
“I’m so thankful because I know there are a lot of parents who can’t take their kids home so I just ask that our government please help the families that are still sitting in the embassy crying like I am,” said new mother Liz Warren.
“It’s just a dream come true,” said new grandmother Kim Warren. “One of the happiest days of my life.”
But this emotional day has been months in the making. Last July through the Helping Haitian Angels organization the Warrens first met Sterly. They immediately fell in love and began the adoption process. Everything was almost set until Jan. 12, when the earthquake hit and the adoption papers were destroyed.
Fearing the worst the Warrens decided to return to Haiti and bring back Sterly themselves. With no paperwork, it took almost two weeks to overcome red tape in Haiti.
“On Tuesday when that second earthquake hit, it was a 6.1 and we were 80 miles away and my wife felt it,” said new father Larry Warren. “It was at that point when we said we have to do everything we can to get Sterly home.”
With the help of their loved ones and church family, a military flight was scheduled to bring the family home. Throughout the long process Liz Warren was amazed at how strong little Sterly remained.
“He is well worth the wait," she said. "He is so relaxed and loving and snuggly and observant and he’s been gracious to us over these past few days."
At his new home, Sterly’s room is set up with a playpen, a bed and memories from his homeland -- a painting of Haiti and a picture of his biological mother, Yolan. The Warrens want Sterly to remember where he came from while adjusting to life in northern Virginia
Published at 7:15 PM EDT on Jan 26, 2010