Claire's new life is a far cry from where she lived in Haiti. Instead of an overcrowded orphanage, Claire now lives in a 4,000-square-foot home with a private lake. She used to share a twin bed with four other girls. Now, she has a queen-size bed to herself and a lawn to run around on.
In Haiti, Claire would get just one meal a day—a mound of rice and beans. Debbie says the abundance of food in her home has been a big change for Claire. "Her stomach gets hugely extended, and she ends up throwing up if she eats too much," Debbie says. "Until she knew that she was going to get another meal, every mealtime was awful with her. It was this constant battle of how much food she can eat."
Debbie says Claire has also had challenges adjusting to school and other children. "She's very aggressive, and in Haiti they grow up learning to shove, push, kick, slap, whatever they need to do to get what they want. It's survival," Debbie says. "It's what we call their coping skills living in Haiti. So obviously that behavior does not work here."
Debbie and Scott have also had to adjust to their new lifestyle. "I would be lying if I was to say it hasn't been difficult, because it has," she says. "But the rewards have been far greater."