Nacogdoches couple adopting Haitian twins - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches couple adopting Haitian twins

Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page
Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page
Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page Photo source: Zac Weems' Facebook page

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES (KTRE) - Everyday parents are united with their adopted Haitian children, so Zac and Becky Weems of Nacogdoches are wondering why not them. They were expecting twin girls, age 3, to arrive in Florida this weekend. Out of a group of 50, only six got off the plane. The Weems' daughters were not on board.

This morning Zac, a San Augustine principal, was on and off the phone with U.S. senators, government officials and adoption advocates. "We're kinda in a standstill," Zac said as he began a phone interview. "Our kids are in a point of ...uh...where they officially..uh...hey, I'm gonna have to call you back." The conversation was cut short by the business at hand.

About 8 hours later Zac tried to do another interview, but once again was pulled away by phone conferences. His wife, Becky, stepped in. "We began the process to adopt the twins two years ago. We were expecting them in January, but delays in visas and passports slowed the process down," Becky said.

Then the earthquake occurred. The couple waited in desperation to learn if their daughters were safe. "Yes, they're safe," a relieved mom shares. "They are in Port Au Prince sleeping in tents outside because their home has been shaken and they're fearful to go back inside. They have all the children sleeping outside."

The confusion is something to expect according to Wynter Chauvin, Zac's former professor at SFA. She knows this from experience. She, with her husband, adopted two girls from China. Chauvin also experienced earthquakes and worked with disaster relief.

"It's a tough road. They've got a long way to go. Getting to their children as quick as possible, I'm sure, is foremost on their mind," shared Chauvin.

An earthquake speeds up the children's adoption paper work. Humanitarian paroles are allowing children into the United States "Our adoption is category one because it's so far along. We had high hopes that we would be given our paperwork and be sent home fairly quickly," Becky said.

Instead, the Weems learned the Haitian government wants their president to sign and approve all expedited adoptions. He met with officials today.

The Weems were preparing to return to Nacogdoches tonight, but chose to stay one more night in case their daughters' papers are signed.

At the same time, the earthquake is hindering the logistics of placing the little ones in safe arms. "It's such a complicated process even without an earthquake thrown into the process. It takes the whole family to do this," Chauvin said.

The Weems' children are from an orphanage about 4 hours from Port Au Prince. Food is scarce. Another worry for anxious moms and dads. "Have faith. Have faith," is the advice Chauvin presents.

The Weems have followed their calling from the very beginning. "There is, of course, tears and frustration and madness at times, but our faith hasn't really been shaken. We know that God is in control. We're just trying to make wise choices," Becky said.  She then prepares for another night of waiting for the time to hold her two little girls.

There are about 20,000 children living in Haiti's 187 licensed orphanages.

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