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Local family starts foundation to assist with adoptions

HOUSTON – Four-year-old Anna is an orphan who lives in Haiti.

This is the story of a local family who have been trying to bring her home.

“Home study, the background checks, the psychological evaluations, the medical exams, our children had to get references from their teachers -- it was a lot,” Laura Butler said.

And that was just the start to what has become a more than three-year journey for the Butler family. Why has it taken so long?

A big reason is the conditions in Haiti.

“We take a lot for granted here. We have highways, we have cars, we have computers -- many things that a country like Haiti does not have,” Doug Butler, Laura’s husband, said.

“Eighty percent of Haiti is below $300 a year,” Laura said.

That is the reason Anna is an orphan in the first place.

“They want what’s best for their child and so they will put on their best clothes and walk miles and miles and miles to orphanages and beg them to take care of their child,” Laura said. “They believe, I almost envision it like if she’s, if I was drowning in an ocean, I would be lifting up my child and telling you, ‘Chip, grab the baby.’”

It has been difficult and costly for the Butlers to go through the adoption process. But they’re not giving up.

“Our hearts have grown weary but one of the things that we did during this three years is we said, 'How can we help other families?'” Doug said.

So they began the Anna Cheri Foundation with a plan to award a grant each year to a family that is looking to adopt. It may be a drop in the bucket given the world’s estimated 140 million orphans, but that’s not the point.

“We want to inspire as many people as possible to help. 'Cause we can help one or two, but as people come together we can help many more,” Doug said.

While the Butlers have no control over when they get to bring Anna home, they do hope to be walking through their door as a family in time for her 5th birthday on Aug. 21.

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