A Kingsland couple is learning new information about the …
Updated: Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010, 8:20 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010, 5:12 PM CST
KINGLSAND, Texas (KXAN) - A Kingsland family is calling on Governor Rick Perry to rescue the Haitian boy they adopted. Not only is the boy suffering through the devastation of the earthquake, but also there are reports of looting at his orphanage.
It has been a two-year process to adopt Jhonsley, 11, and the Harmon family is not giving up until he is safe at his new home.
"For the most part, I hold it together except right now," said Kim Harmon.
Days after the earthquake hit, Harmon learned Jhonsley's orphanage had been looted.
"We just want people to listen," said Harmon. "We want those kids here now. It should not have come to this point."
Harmon has pleaded with several lawmakers and even asked Governor Rick Perry to rescue Jhonsley and the other 130 children in his orphanage.
Aware of the situation, Senator John Cornyn sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Below is his letter:
Dear Madam Secretary:
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for your outstanding leadership in coordinating the United States’ humanitarian response to Tuesday’s tragic earthquake in Haiti. This is one of the greatest human tragedies in recent history. We understand that the focus of immediate efforts is to ensure that all who survived this terrible disaster have access to life sustaining necessities such as health care, food, water and shelter.
As you begin to construct the next phase of the United States’ and international response, we urge you to consider the needs of orphan children. As you well know, these children are already among the most vulnerable and in circumstances like these, are at even greater risk. Our experience has been that a natural disaster of this magnitude can not only have serious effects on children previously orphaned, but sadly, also be the cause for additional children to find themselves displaced or orphaned.
As we understand, there were approximately 20,000 children living in Haiti’s 187 licensed orphanages prior to this disaster. The vast majority of these institutions are located in Port-Au-Prince and the surrounding region. In a small percentage of cases, the children are eligible for international adoption and have been matched with American families.
We appreciate the announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that humanitarian parole will be offered to children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for intercountry adoption by the Government of Haiti and are being adopted by U.S. citizens and to children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.
With this in mind, we respectfully request that you give every
consideration to employing some or all of the following options for
assisting Haiti’s orphaned children:
Attached please find a list of orphanages we know to be in the affected region, although this list is not exhaustive. We hope that this information and the above recommendations are useful as your team devises a course of action. If we can be of any further assistance to you on this or other matters of mutual concern, please do not hesitate to let us know.
"It's waiting to see," said Harmon. "It's waiting for someone to say 'There's a plane on the ground and we're loading your kids up. Meet us at this airport.' I'll go anywhere in the country, where ever I can get them out."
Words from a determined mother who will not stop until her son is brought safely home.