Haiti Quake Slows Adoption by NJ Family

Families across the United States are meeting the same problem

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family Photo
    Kris Mammas and his soon-to-be daughter, Landy.

    It has been two days now since Kris Mammas has heard any news on the little girl he is hoping will be his daughter.

    The Bayonne, NJ veterinary doctor has met little Landy twice in visits to Las Cayes, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and was told right after last week's earthquake that she and the orphanage she lived in came out fine, even as nearby buildings collapsed in chaos.

    NJ Family Waits for News on Planned Haiti Adoption

    [NY] NJ Family Waits for News on Planned Haiti Adoption
    Like scores of families in the United States, a New Jersey family has found their plans to adopt a child from Haiti suddenly delayed or uncertain.

    "My next worry was I heard in a few days people were going to be dying from not having any water or food," Mammas told nbcnewyork.com from his office at the Bayonne Veterinary Medical Building.

    But while he heard water and food were getting to the children, he now worries about disease. He has a lot to worry about.

    So do American adoption officials. One, Stephanie Thoet of A Love Beyond Borders, based in Denver, said an estimated 300 children up for adoption in the United States have been affected, though she added "I think it could be higher."

    They are trying to expedite paperwork as the children are located.

    Mammas, 48, has been working for a year now to bring Landy to New Jersey, and before the quake was told to expect her by this summer.

    Now, Thoet says that could come earlier, and the office of Mammas' Congressman, Rep. Albio Sires(D-NJ), said it also is intervening to speed up the visa process.

    Mammas, a single father, adopted his first child three years ago. Alec, almost six years old, comes from Wuhan, China and is looking forward to being Landy's Big Brother.

    He went to church and prayed for Landy. "I don't want nobody to turn into skeletons," he said.

    At one point, Mammas was so concerned about his daughter-to-be that he thought about flying to the Dominican Republic, renting a truck and "filling it with supplies and driving it over."

    He didn't, only after hearing that Landy was OK. But by not knowing on a day to day basis what's going on in Haiti, he won't be relieved until Landy is actually in his arms, in America.