Austin couple waits for word on bringing son home from Haiti



Posted on January 14, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Aaron and Jamie Ivey have a house filled with children, but their house still isn't full.

It's missing 4-year-old Amos, one of two children they adopted from Haiti earlier this year. Though final, Amos' adoption was tied up in red tape, and he was not allowed to leave the country when his new sister, 2-year-old Story, came to Austin earlier this year.

Amos was still at the Real Hope for Haiti rescue center near Port Au Prince, where he lives, when a massive earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday. 

"At first, it was just chaos trying to figure out where Amos was, if he was OK," Aaron Ivey said. "It probably took four or five hours to get word from the rescue center where he lives that he was OK. That whole time my wife and I were both anxious and worried and needed to know how our boy was."

The couple hasn't talked with friends in Haiti, but got word via Facebook that Amos survived in the Real Hope for Rescue Center in Cazale. He and another child were alone in the building while everyone else worked outside at the time of the earthquake.

"The house didn't collapse," Aaron Ivey said. "They said it took a lot of damage and had a lot of cracks in the wall, but it didn't collapse."

Workers entered the building and found Amos and the the other child unhurt.

"He was, as you can imagine, scared out of his mind, a 4-year-old little boy," Aaron Ivey said. "They loved on him and hugged him and told him everything was going to be OK. That's been a huge relief."

The Iveys say they're concerned that Amos' adoption papers may have been destroyed in the earthquake, but right now they're unsure if that will speed or slow their efforts to bring them to their home in Austin.

"It's awful," Jamie Ivey said. "You feel out of control. You feel like you want to do something but there's nothing you can do.

"I know he's in good hands, so I can rest well at night knowing that, but it would make a lot of difference if I could just hear his voice or just see him through Skype (an Internet website), but we are just having to be patient," she said.

The Iveys are caring for Story and their other two children, Cayden, 5, and Deacon, 4, as they wait for word on Amos. They're also working to raise awareness for all the orphans in Haiti.

"There's a ton of orphans in Haiti right now that don't have a connection with a mom or dad that's trying to bring them home," Aaron Ivey says. "They're completely alone right now. Before this, there were 1.2 million orphans in Haiti. It's staggering what that number could get to because of something like that."

Aaron Ivey, an accomplished musician, and other musicians are staging a benefit concert through Music for the City  on Monday (Jan. 18) at the Parish in Austin.  The concert begins at 7 p.m. and 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to Real Hope for Haiti, the rescue center caring for Amos and dozens of other orphans.