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Women carry two of 24 orphaned Haitian children arriving from the earthquake-stricken country at the Ottawa airport on Sunday. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

Alberta families awaiting adopted children from Haiti started welcoming their children home over the weekend.

A total of 24 Haitian children arrived in Canada on Sunday, the first group to have their adoptions fast-tracked since the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12. Many of them are bound for Alberta.

"International adoption is often a lengthy and complex process that can be stressful for adoptive families and their children," said Minister of Children and Youth Services Yvonne Fritz.

"The devastation caused by this earthquake has made recent days very difficult for our families adopting children from Haiti. The parents are deeply concerned about the welfare of their children and are anxious to bring them home."

Fritz said the department has workers in Ottawa who are looking after the children until their new parents arrive.

"Our ministry will continue to do everything we can to ensure the children are united with their parents as quickly as possible," she said.

A second plane carrying Haitian children is expected to arrive in Montreal on Tuesday morning.

Bonnie Winarski's 22-month-old daughter, Sarah Marie, will be on the plane.

Winarski, from Fort Saskatchewan, arrived in Montreal on Sunday in anticipation of her daughter's arrival.

"I'm just thrilled that I'm in the city and I can just about see the airport from my hotel window, which reassures me I am going to be there in that moment when my daughter comes," she said.

"It's exciting. This is the best I've felt in the last week and a half, that's for sure."

Winarski said she can't wait to see her daughter.

"I get to touch her," she said. "I get to smell her. I've had so many pictures of her, but I get see how she is. I'm just so excited about getting to know this little person."