An Adoption Journey

candice and Anu

I am thankful to be back in the US with my newly adopted daughter, Antara. For those who are not familiar, I returned from Kathmandu, Nepal this month after traveling to adopt my baby girl.  What I thought would be about a three week process turned out to be a three month unexpected adoption nightmare. 

 

While Antara and I are adjusting and dealing with the everyday stresses of real life,  we want to bring awareness to the adoption situation in Nepal.  There are American families waiting to bring their children home and many who most likely will remain in Nepal for Christmas.

 

I will share my story here on the Portrait of an Adoption blog, which is and continues to be a journey of the heart.  You can also see Antara and me on "The Talk," a new daytime talk show on CBS, which will air Tuesday, November 30 at 1 p.m. CST.

On Thursday, August 5, 2010, I traveled to Nepal to adopt my now 16-month-old daughter.  I had waited in anticipation for this date, so I immediately booked a flight to go to Nepal to bring my baby girl home.  I made arrangements to be away from work.  My mother, graciously decided to retire from her job a bit early, so she could travel with me and help me through the process. 

When I arrived in Kathmandu, I, along with five other US families, found ourselves stuck in the middle of an abrupt change in policy by the US Department of State (DOS) without full knowledge of its impact before we traveled to Nepal.  The affected families were all either in Nepal or in flight when this change occurred. In brief, the new process changed how orphan documentation is reviewed by the DOS. It was a complete shock to all of us, as the US continued to process adoption cases and issue visas just days prior to our arrival in Nepal. All cases were approved prior to our arrival, and these families were able to bring their children home after a very short stay in Nepal.   There was no fraud or any other impropriety found in any of the cases leading up to the change in policy.

 

 

There are now 80 families who are in the pipeline - all desperately waiting to bring their children home.  I am the only person who was living in Nepal whose child has received a visa after these changes went into effect.

 

These children have been abandoned by their biological parents - there is ample evidence that they have been living in orphanages for years but are still being denied visas by the US government to live with their adoptive families  who will provide a safe, loving and nurturing home because their original abandonment cannot be substantially verified. Of course, in nearly all cases of abandonment, the mothers/family members/relatives by necessity go to great lengths not to be identified.  Further, the government of Nepal, in its own detailed investigations of each case, has determined that these children are legally free to be adopted.  The US parents have done just that. They are now responsible for the well being of the children.

 

We all strongly support ethical adoption policies and procedures but feel there may be a lack of consideration of the values and culture in Nepal and the difficulties they impose.  

 

While Antara is flourishing in her new environment, this situation continues to be a nightmare for the families waiting to bring their children home. I don't want to underestimate the amount of stress I endured, and the families who are living in Nepal continue to experience as new parents in a third world country with no idea when they will be home.  

In future posts, I will share more of my own story with you, and let you know how you can help bring the families and their children home to the US.

 

 

Recent Media Coverage

http://http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-09-26/news/ct-met-schmich-0926-20100926_1_katmandu-adoption-nepali

 

http://www.wgntv.com/videobeta/?watchId=d0a5a401-7187-4d4c-8dc2-43f5b1bd44af

http://www.wgntv.com/search/wgntv-nepal-adoption-nov8,0,1375199.story

DeeDee and Bina: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/25406377/detail.html?taf=bos

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Filed under: adoption

Tags: Nepal adoption

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • As a close friend of Candice's, I can attest to the high level of stress, utter frustration, and devastation the forever families are suffering while waiting for a Visa to be issued to their children. It is simply not right. These families have waited years to bring home the beautiful children pictured in Candice's blog, and it is nothing more than bureaucracy of the U.S. government that is causing delays. I only wish every media outlet in our country would cover this story to raise awareness and put pressure on our government to get the families in the pipeline home. Everyone wants the most ethical of processes but the government ceases to learn from similar situations in the past with other countries. Please keep all of these families in your thoughts so they may be as fortunate as Candice and Antara and come home to reunite with their friends and families.

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