Local family packing up and moving to orphanage in Haiti - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local family packing up and moving to orphanage in Haiti

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TEMECULA, Calif. (CBS 8) - Imagine moving out of your house, quitting your job, taking your kids out of school and moving to a third-world county. That's exactly what the Fielstra family in Temecula is doing as they embark an extraordinary mission to Haiti.

Five-year-old Trenton and 7-year-old CJ are ready to go with their suitcases packed.

"I have a Star Wars space ship from the movie," said Trenton as he showed off his suitcase.

"I got this really soft pillow that I really love," said CJ. "They really need some help at Haiti. We're going there to help them and build an orphanage."

Their new home will be the Good Rest Orphanage near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was partially destroyed by a massive earthquake two years ago.

The Fielstra family will live there with 75 children and help rebuild the dormitories, church and classrooms.

"I love having kids around. I feel like they're the ones that need the help," explained Carl Fielstra, the father of three who currently works as a Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy.

His wife Krystal Fielstra is a high school special education teacher.

"My greatest fear is my own kids' safety and well being," said Krystal. "We've gotten a lot of shots and I want them to be safe. But I also think you can't live your life afraid of doing something different."

Krystal will take a leave of absence from her employment. Carl's application for a leave has been denied, so he's prepared to resign in order to take the mission to Haiti with his wife and kids.

"It will be a culture shock for them, but they're coming into 75 new brothers and sisters and I don't think they could be any more excited," said Carl.

The youngest in the family is 2-year-old Amelia. She and her two brothers will be home schooled.

"We listen to Creole tapes in the car when we're driving and practice pronouncing words, having conversations so they'll be able to talk to the kids there," said Krystal.

Carl took home video of the orphanage when he traveled to Haiti in March. The Port-au-Prince capital remains in ruins from the earthquake and hundreds of thousands of people still live in tent cities.

"It was an overnight flight. I was up for 24 hours. I was tired but as soon as I saw those kids, I lit up. That was home," Carl said.

At the orphanage, the drinking water supply still needs to be cleaned up and electrical power remains sporadic. The older children work to make and sell purses to raise money.

The family plans to stay for at least a year, maybe two.

"I'm really going to miss the pool and Disneyland," said CJ.

Carl and Krystal have set up a blog to document their mission and they are also accepting donations.

The agency they are working with is the Children's Heritage Foundation.

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