GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grady is one of more than 100,000 orphans who lived in Haitibefore the massive earthquake hit more than two weeks ago.
The Augustyn family is one of more than 12 West Michiganfamilies that adopted a child from Haiti. They started the processto adopt Grady more than three years ago, and said after seeing thedevastation in their adopted son's country, they are grateful Gradyis safe at home with them.
"In our hearts, we've had him a long time," said Julie Augustyn,while holding Grady in her lap.
He has been with his new family for about 10 days, but theAugustyns feel like it has been much longer.
"It's getting harder to think about when he wasn't here," JulieAugustyn said.
Her family first was introduced to Grady through photos twoyears ago. They met the little boy in person during a visit to hisHaitian orphanage in October 2009.
The Augustyns thought they might have to wait another six tonine months after their first visit to bring Grady to Grand Rapids,but then the earthquake hit and his adoption was expedited.
Those first few moments after the disaster hit -- before theAugustyn family knew Grady was safe -- were tense.
"It was very personal and graphic, not knowing when we would gethim ... if we would get him," Mark Augustyn said. "[It] made itvery difficult to watch the first few days of coverage."
Grady now has a new name, a new family and a new life. He willcall Grand Rapids home.
"It is surreal the first couple days to have him in ourhouse," Julie Augustyn said. "And not just a picture of him in ourhouse -- (it) has been very strange, it just seems like it can'tpossibly be that he's here."
But Grady is home with them, and he is quickly getting used tonew things -- and learning everything he can.
"He calls me mommy, so he's already caught on to that," JulieAugustyn said.
And although Grady doesn't speak much English yet, he is pickingup more words every day.
It will take the Augustyns a while to go through the officialprocess of adopting Grady and they do not know how long it willtake.
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