Diaspora

'She had a death certificate, Haiti declared her as dead' | Atlanta high schooler finds family 12 years after Haiti earthquake – 11Alive.com WXIA

ATLANTA — In 2010, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, North Atlanta High School senior, Lovencia Chambley, was 6 years old and living 15 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter. 
“When I saw the buildings falling, everything was flying everywhere, people were screaming and then I was knocked out for a little bit because a rock hit me in the head,” said Chambley. 
She was pinned under debris for 3 days.
“When I was awake I would yell for help and no-one would come help me,” said Chambley.
Help did eventually come for her days later, but a day after she was dug out, an aftershock hit.
“That’s when I saw all the rocks flying off the building hitting my mom and my siblings and they all fell down and I had to keep running and I just saw bodies dropping,” said Chambley.
But because injured people were taken to different areas, she was separated from her mother and siblings and told her mother had died.
“She had a death certificate, Haiti declared her as dead,” said Chambley.
Lovencia ended up in an orphanage where Kelly Chambley was volunteering. Three years after the earthquake, Kelly adopted her and brought her to America.
“There was just something magical about her…she got here when she was 10 and thrown into an elementary school,” said Kelly.
In the years that followed, Lovencia thrived, learning the language and adjusting to life here. And always dancing.
“Every time she grieves or feels deeply, she would dance,” said Kelly.
Then a few weeks ago, a Facebook message changed everything.
The message said: “I’m Lovencia’s sister, we’ve been searching for Lovencia this whole time,” said Kelly.
“I didn’t even know I had that sister till mom (Kelly) showed me a picture and I said that looks like me!” said Chambley.
The picture also showed another woman, Lovencia’s mother who has been alive this whole time.
“In 12 years I’ve learned so many new things, and to see the woman rise back from the dead is a little… shaky,” said Lovencia.
They have Facetimed and talked on the phone. But now the Chambleys want to bring her mother and sister here to see her graduate from North Atlanta High School.
“They were there for the beginning of my childhood…with all that happened I feel like they should see the end of my childhood and see my life and to understand that I’m ok,” said Chambley.
She graduates at the end of May so for that to happen, the US embassy in Haiti would have to expedite the Visa process. But the Chambleys say after finding out her mother is alive, they believe anything is possible.
They’ve started an online fundraiser to pay for the journey.
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