It was a joyous homecoming last month for Chris Pramuk, a Xavier assistant professor of theology, his wife, Lauri, and their growing family. The Pramuks returned to Cincinnati from Denver on Jan. 27 with the two Haitian orphans they are adopting, 6-year-old Sophia Luc and 1-year-old Henry David Valdeus. The Pramuks, who also have two biological children, were a year into the adoption process when the earthquake devastated the poor Caribbean nation that has left at least 150,000 dead or missing.
“There are so many hidden heroes,” Chris says of the network of people throughout the United States and in Haiti, as well as in Cincinnati and at Xavier, who helped speed the rescue of Sophia, Henry David and the other youngsters in their badly damaged Port-au-Prince orphanage. “It’s a story that continues not only at our orphanage, as you know, but across Haiti.”
The Pramuks credit the resourcefulness of the orphanage’s workers for protecting their children amid unfathomable misery. “The Haitians are a very resilient people,” says Lauri. “They’re used to catastrophes.”
The Pramuks had expected to wait another year to complete the adoptions, which are being processed by an agency in Colorado. After the quake, however, they and hundreds of other American families with Haitian adoptions in the pipeline asked the U.S. government to help get the children out of Haiti quickly by granting them humanitarian parole. The adoptions will be finalized in the United States.