Local family awaits pending Haiti adoption

February 1, 2010 8:36:24 AM PST
A Kingwood family is trying to bring their adopted child home from Haiti, but they keep running into problems with paperwork. Ernest and Debra Parker started the formal process to adopt nine-year-old Ronel a year ago. Ronel was supposed to fly to the states with other children from his rescue center recently, but a paperwork problem kept him off the plane.

Ernest traveled to Haiti Tuesday to get the boy.

"He's afraid too that he is going to get left behind again," said Debra Parker. "I hope that is not going to happen. I don't know how long my husband can stay, but at this point he is going to stay until he brings that boy home to us."

The buildings that housed the paperwork all collapsed. When the U.S. government announced it was granting humanitarian parole to orphans like Ronel whose adoptions were already underway, the Parkers were encouraged. They thought they had everything done.

"We were ecstatic, ready to bring him home, ready to hold him in our arms and tell him everything was going to be OK. But when Ernest arrived Tuesday, he learned he could not leave without clearing a background check. Now he's waiting at the American Embassy sleeping on the floor with Ronel," said Parker.

Ernest is still waiting on the Haitian government to sign off on the adoption.

The Parkers tell Eyewitness News that Ronel had lost both of his parents before the earthquake. They died and his sister had taken him to an orphanage because she couldn't care for him.

The Parker family may hear some good news from Haiti today or tomorrow.