For many people who have adopted children, they understand the process can be both emotionally and physically exhausting. For Mark and Kristen, it took three years to adopt their son, Kembe.
Mark and Kristen had two biological children and one adopted child. They wanted to complete their family with a fourth child. When they visited a Haitian orphanage, they met Kembe...
...And the moment they saw his smiling face, Mark and Kristen knew they had just met their son.
Their connection was instant, as Kembe absolutely radiated positivity.
Like any new parents, they were anxious to take their son home.
However, the time it takes to adopt a child varies from country to country. For some places, it can take up to five years.
While visiting Haiti to settle more paperwork and visit Kembe, the 2010 earthquake occurred, and Kristen witnessed the utter destruction it caused Haiti and its people.
"He and the other orphans were literally sleeping on the ground of the driveway."
Kristen was desperate to bring her son home to safety, as well as help the other children who were left without a proper roof over their head.
Kristen began working with state representatives and the Haitian government to find a way to grant humanitarian parole to the children.
Thankfully, she was able to strike a deal with lawmakers that would allow children who were legally adopted to go to their new homes.
The bill, "Help For Haiti," granted humanitarian parole to approximately 800 children.
Arrangements were made for Kembe and other children to be flown to the United States. Mark rushed to the airport to meet his son, and when the two finally reunited, Kembe melted in his father's arms. At this point, it had been three years since they first met their son.
Their reunion was long overdue, and once Mark was holding his son, he knew he never wanted to let go.
Kembe arrived home to three new brothers and sisters, and two loving parents.