It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a chance encounter can lead to a story that continues for a couple of years.

I hadn’t been on the ground in Haiti for long after the earthquake — which struck two years ago on Jan. 12, 2010 — when a producer handed me a piece of paper with a name and phone number on it. Brian Williams had met a young pastor on a flight out of Port-au-Prince, who had literally begged him for help. There were about 50 children in a life or death situation. They had survived the quake and been evacuated to a makeshift shelter, where food and water were running out. They were getting little help, because there was so much tragedy and mayhem everywhere.

What’s more, many of the children were in the process of being adopted by American families. Some of those parents had flown to Haiti and were desperately trying to get their “almost-adopted” kids out.

Read the whole thing at the Rock Center website at MSNBC.com.

WATCH THE PREVIEW of Ron Allen’s Haiti retrospective, airing on Rock Center Monday night:

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