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OC couple fighting for adopted son in Haiti

January 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
An Orange County couple is anxiously waiting for their soon to be adopted son, who they were forced to leave behind in Haiti when the quake hit.Kristen Howerton was in Haiti visiting her soon to be adopted son when the quake hit. She says the shaking was so bad she couldn't even believe it was an earthquake.

Howerton and her infant daughter, who was with her, were finally evacuated home Friday but she had to leave her son Keembert behind.

It was a bitter sweet scene for Mark and Kristen Howerton as they watched their young adopted Haitian son captured on camera by ABC's "World News Tonight."

"We have visited like seven times now," Kristen said. "Saying goodbye is something that you dread the whole time you are there and this was the worst."

Kristen and their eight month old daughter traveled to Haiti to visit Keembert when the quake hit.

"There were people out in the streets screaming," Howerton said. "It was awful, I mean, I knew that this had caused some considerable damage."

Kristen and the children escaped but the orphanage where Keembert lives was badly damaged. The children now sleep outside on the driveway.

Kristen and her daughter were evacuated out by the US Military on Friday.

With Haiti now in ruin, the Howerton's have no idea about the adoption that they have been fighting to finalize for the last three years. They're praying that the US Government will grant Keembert a humanitarian parole, allowing him to come to the United States and finish his adoption at home.

"To leave him behind anytime is challenging," Mark Howerton said. "To know what he is staying behind too and the dangers and his current living situation, it's just killing us."

The Howerton's have launched a massive campaign calling on the US Government and members of Congress to try to bring Keembert home.


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