Penny Ladner returned to her parents Hancock County home Thursday night after spending ten days in Romania. She, her mom and her fiancee flew there to get the two children she has waited to call her own for more than a year. Ladner can hardly believe the 23-month old twins are finally hers. It took Ladner and her fiancee a year and a half of international red tape to adopt the girls, whom they named Haley and Hannah. After many delays, Ladner, her fiancee, and her mom got on a plane to Romania on April 17th. "And it was a 30 hour flight with layovers and stops and it was an ordeal but we finally got there," Ladner says. They still had to drive 11 hours to the foster home where the girls were staying. Remembering the conditions there brings tears to Ladner's eyes. "The foster home where they'd been staying had no running water, had dirt floors, no electricity. I mean it was horrible where they were stayin'," she says.
Ladner rescued Haley and Hannah from a life that has been anything but wonderful. Their mother gave birth to them in a field and abandoned them. Ladner says a farmer found the babies and took them to a hospital. They were then placed in foster care. "When we first got 'em they were dehydrated and that was big problem cause we had to get 'em rehydrated and they just drank and drank and they had mites and we had to get rid of the mites and they were dirty and never had a bath."
Considering their rough start in life, Ladner says both girls appear to be healthy. Hannah's eyes are slightly crossed and Ladner says she will have that corrected. Ladner says her greatest hope for her daughters is their health and happiness. "Cause they wouldn't have survived over there, they wouldn't have survived and I knew I would just love 'em just as much," Ladner says. It's a love the whole Ladner family is sharing with its two newest members.