Abbotsford pastors tangled up in red tape trying to bring home adopted two-year-old African boy

An anxious mom waits, exasperated, sick and alone but for her two-year-old adopted son in a foreign country while the slow, impersonal wheels of bureaucracy seem to barely grind at all.

“I’m trying to stay hopeful, but we keep getting the run-around,” Kim Moran said over the phone from Ghana.

Kim and her husband Clark travelled to Nigeria on Aug. 1 to adopt two-year-old Ayo, and after a short foster period a court in Ibadan granted the Abbotsford couple’s adoption order.

Ayo legally became their son. There has been no good news since.

“It sucks our Canadian government is making it difficult to be the family we’re hoping to be,” Kim said.

Kim Moran and her husband Clark travelled to Nigeria on Aug. 1 to adopt two-year-old Ayo, and after a short foster period a court in Ibadan granted the Abbotsford couple’s adoption order.

Nigeria has no Canadian immigration office, so after completing the paperwork for Ayo, including a new passport with his new last name, the family travelled to Accra on the Ghanan coast to process the final phase of paperwork there so that Ayo can come to Canada and become a Canadian citizen.

So far the Morans have received as much satisfaction and information as a protagonist in a Kafka story.

“I feel betrayed by my home country,” Kim said. “Every time I need support here, I feel let down.”

The Morans had hoped to have their little family together in the Fraser Valley in time for Kim’s 34th birthday. Instead, she celebrated on Oct. 2 alone with Ayo, whose name means happiness or joy, on a Accra beach, Clark having had to return to Abbotsford for work.

The couple are co-lead pastors at the Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly, and Kim is missing out on monitoring she requires following treatment for multiple sclerosis last year.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada told Postmedia News it could not comment without a signed consent form from the Morans, while Ahmed Hussen, the minister in charge, sent Kim an email saying adopted children are given priority treatment.

“But then in the next paragraph it said (Phase 2) of the application is in a queue for review. It’s apparently been in a queue since Sept,. 24, is that priority treatment?,” Kim said.

“It’s really left me feeling like I’m all alone here in a strange country, with no support. I just keep saying to myself, “I’m a Canadian. It’s not supposed to be like this.”

The Morans know three other couples who adopted internationally and the final paperwork took between three and seven days in each case, Kim said. Married 11 years, she and Clark have long talked of adopting and spent 3 1/2 years doing their homework.

She had a tough few days last week and Clark flew out to see her and Ayo, arriving Nov. 6  in Ghana, bringing some meds and some tender loving care. He’ll return to the Fraser Valley on Friday.

Her room in Accra costs US$2,100 a month, and there is food to buy and plane tickets that keep getting rescheduled.

She is dealing with complications from her MS treatment. Friends have created a gofundme page.

“Ayo is doing OK,” Kim said. “He’s definitely bonded with me really well. I find if I can keep myself together, he does OK.

“I desperately want to come home. I am exhausted, Ayo misses his Dad, and Clark is missing out on some of the most vital bonding time with his new son.

“This is not at all how we pictured our first few months as a family would be and we desperately want to be home together.”

Kim Moran and her husband Clark travelled to Nigeria on Aug. 1 to adopt two-year-old Ayo, and after a short foster period a court in Ibadan granted the Abbotsford couple’s adoption order.

gordmcintyre@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

 

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