We were expecting news any day now that Baby A's parents would be traveling to Guatemala to pick her up after three and one half years.
They've had the kind of case where you just want to shake your head and say, "That family has had the worst time bringing that girl home."
It got worse.
Long story short of it is this.
The Department of Homeland Security(DHS) is involved in immigration. They have certain rules that they actually follow when it comes to allowing people to immigrate here. In order to bring an orphan here as an adoptive child, that child must be defined as an orphan. It's a precise legal definition.
A child can become an orphan in several ways, not just if both parents are dead. A woman can chose to give up her child for adoption in hopes of a better life for that baby if she can not provide for it and there is no one in her family that is capable of providing for it. She must do this of her own free will and she must understand what she is doing.
Baby A's birthmom is deaf. She doesn't speak Spanish. She doesn't speak sign language. Early on, their case went south because of this. The officials ruled that a judge should look into this since it was unclear if this birthmom was capable of making this decision. So for 3.5 years, this lady was interviewed, evaluated, examined and questioned. Finally, the judge ruled that
- Yes, The birthmom knows what she is doing.
- Yes, She is doing this of her own free will.
- No, No one in the birthfamily can provide for Baby A.
- Yes, Baby A is available to be adopted.
- Yes, My friends are now the legal parents of Baby A. The adoption is final and binding.
DHS sends my friends an email stating that they need to appear at the embassy in Guatemala to sign something in person.
Then the embassy will formulate their NOTICE OF INTENT TO DENY (NOID)
The embassy intends to deny Baby A a visa to come to America!!!
Now, my understanding is that my friends can submit a rebuttal and appeal this and, eventually, they should be able to bring Baby A home, since she is legally their child.
But, for crying out loud, how much more can one family take?
Please pray for this case. Pray that the officials in Guatemala City would have mercy on Baby A and listen with open hearts to the pleas of her parents. May they move swiftly to resolve this problem and send Baby A on her way home ASAP. Pray that my friends would have the strength and endurance to continue to fight for their baby. Also, pray that the father would be able to do everything himself in Guatemala, as they have 4 kids at home (one recently adopted from China) and the mom does not want to have to take the whole family down for an extended stay to resolve this issue.
Blessings to you,