Archive article reported in Nebraska City News-Press in March of 2010.
Reporter Dan Swanson attended a service at the Faith Baptist Church in Nebraska City along with Brandon Buttry, a U.S. soldier recently killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Matt and Mandy Poulter told the Nebraska City congregation of Faith Baptist Church on Sunday that they can't explain everything that happened when an earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12.
They learned about the disaster from news reports like everyone else, but soon became a part of an orphan evacuation and a symbol of hope amidst the destruction.
"We're still in awe of God and the miracles he performed right before our eyes," said Mandy.
Worried about a four-year-old girl they were adopting, Maya Esther, they began by asking family members if U.S. government officials had any information about an orphanage near Port au Prince.
Mandy said journalists, who were weary of reporting on the evident misery in the city, became interested that the story.
On Jan. 14, Central Texas Orphan Mission Alliance reported that Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts and an ABC News crew had found their orphanage.
Nine children were in the second story of the orphanage when the earthquake struck, but were able to get outside. They were found sleeping on the ground, but uninjured.
Matt said he bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic, which shares the island with Haiti, in hopes of finding a way to Maya.
He was still working out a strategy when ABC called to say there was room on a supply plane leaving for Haiti. All he and Mandy had to do was show up.
After three years of going through the adoption process with the Haitian government, they suddenly had authority to take Maya and four others back to the United States.
Matt told the congregation about the difficult conditions in Haiti and said long waits, like seven hours at the U.S. Embassy, gave him time to plan a way back to the United States.
Then he learned that the company he works for, Pella Corp., was sending a jet to take them home.
ABC's late-night news program Nightline publicized the family's reunion. Four days after the earthquake, he was on a plane with five orphans.
"As much as I tried to plan things out, it just wasn't going to be that way," he said.
"I've seen God's hand in my marriage and in my family in many powerful ways, but I've never seen God's work for this long. And I didn't have anything to do with it," he said.
Page 2 of 2 - The Poulters were guests of the church along with Mandy's parents, Don and Pam Buttry.
Between the two families, there are 20 children. The children come from the United States, Korea, Alabama, Vietnam, Guatemala and Haiti.
Mandy is the oldest child of the Buttrys, who have 11 adopted and three biological children.
The Poulters have six children, including Maya and two other adopted children.
Don said when he graduate high school his plan was to disappear into the Pacific Northwest, but God had different a plan for him.
During the orphan crisis in the 1989 revolution to depose communist dictator Nicolae Ceausesu, the Buttrys said they decided to adopt.
"God builds a family in many different ways," he said. "I'm not special. I say God is something special because I have 14 children," he said. "God asks you to do something special and will equip you to do it," he said.
Don and Pam Buttry have adopted children from Korea, Alabama, Vietnam and Guatemala.
Don, a youth pastor, responded to the 1989 Romania orphan crisis after a revolution deposed communist dictator Nicolae Ceausesu. Under Ceausesu rule, vagrancy was illegal. Children were overcrowded into orphanages.
After the revolution, a crisis was reported.
When he graduated high school he planned to go to Northwest Terrority and disappear and never be seen again, but said God had a different plan for his life.
"God builds a family in many different ways.