Rescued Haitian orphan receives US citizenship

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Almost a year after she arrived in Auburn, a rescued orphan from Haiti became an official citizen of the United States. Last Friday, Marie Guerline Clerge Bryditzki, who is known as Claire, was presented with a certificate of citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in Sacramento. Scott and Debbie Bryditzki began the process to adopt the 8-year-old Haitian girl after meeting her during a mission visit to Haiti almost three years ago. “We fell in love with her, and were inseparable for the entire week,” said Debbie Bryditzki. “We had no plans to adopt, but our son Brandon, (then 12, who accompanied his parents on their Haiti trip,) was determined that we would adopt her.” However, the process came to a halt when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country Jan. 12. Through a connection, the couple was able to use billionaire Ted Turner’s private jet to fly to Haiti and take Claire home. Claire, whose adoption has been completed, is now a first-grader at an area school. ~ Staff report