A few weeks ago Kimberly over at Hoping for Hannah told me she was asked to help our adoption coordinater in Colorado do a news report on our story. Kimberly was uber nervous! But last weekend the story aired! What an absolutely powerful video put together by Channel 9 news in Denver. Please share! Pass along.
Parents adopting from overseas experience long, 'painful' waits
Lori Obert 4 days ago Toolbox: Read Comments PrintEmail ArticleSmallerLarger
DENVER - Kimberly Baldwin looks at the pictures almost every day. It is all she has. "It's been a long wait. Longer than I ever imagined it would be," Baldwin said.
When Baldwin first held the little girl she would one day adopt from an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan, she says the love was immediate. Nothing else in the process has gone quickly.
"It makes me sad to think of her having to have me not come back right now," she said.
It has been a year and a half since that meeting. Since then, Kimberly and the 3-year-old little girl have been victims of a political impasse.
The child is one of many orphans forced to stay in their country when they have adoptive parents ready, approved, and waiting in Colorado and other parts of the United States.
"Your love for the child just grows. Being that far away and knowing that no one is picking her up when she is crying at night and comforting her is awful. It's been painful to know that I can't do that for her," Baldwin said.
It could be another year before she can, unless the United States government can convince the Kyrgyz government to allow the children to leave the country.
The Kyrgyz government made the decision to investigate its adoption policies to make sure there was no corruption. It decided it needed to update the adoption laws. Children's advocates working with the country say those are positive measures. However, dozens of children have been caught in the process. Children who were already matched with families and approved through the process are now caught between the existing laws and the laws that have not been finalized.
"There are 65 kids that were known orphans and now they are kind of stuck. Their paper work is done but they can't go and be with their families because there is no legislation that has been signed that can be grandfathered in so they are pretty much stuck by the legislation," Karen Allred, with Adoption Alliance, said.
In the last four years, 200 Kyrgyz children have found forever homes in the United States. This stall was unexpected.
At the Adoption Alliance in Denver, there is a wall with the faces of smiling children. Children from Kyrgyzstan who are now part of families in Colorado. They are the success stories. Their stories are possible because of the story of a special little girl named Taby, and a courageous missionary from Littleton, Colorado named Tami Snowden.
Snowden was working in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan when she first saw Tabi. Tabi was 4 months old. She was in a crib alone. Most people wouldn't touch her because of the severe facial deformities she had. But Snowden saw past them. She committed to doing whatever it took to get the child help.
A year and a half later, she and Tabi traveled the 7,000 miles from Kyrgyzstan to Colorado. Dr. Randy Robinson donated the surgery to repair Tabi's face.
As she healed, Tabi and Tami's love got deeper. Tami decided she wanted to adopt the then toddler. But the Kyrgyz government had not allowed an American to adopt one of its children in decades. Undeterred, Tami Snowden waded through piles of documents, pleaded her case to the government, and worked to establish trust with them.
In 2004, Tabi became a United States citizen. The adoption was official.
Tabi's adoption opened the door for other children from Kyrgyzstan to be available to American families for adoption.
Baldwin says she hopes the red tape will be sorted through quickly, so more children like Tabi can be with the parents who so desperately want them.
"That is my prayer that things will get resolved. These children are just waiting and aren't getting the kind of support they would be getting in a home," she said.
The wait has already been excruciating. It could be much longer before Baldwin has her daughter home. She says she will not walk away. She will not give up. She will wait for the child she has already grown to love so much.
This month, members of the Joint Council for International Adoption and some of the waiting families went to the country to make pleas for the children. They are asking you to be part of a growing effort to complete the adoption process for the kids. They want Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to contact the Kyrgyz President directly and ask that he intervene.
For more information, visit the following Web sites:
Dept of State's Adoption Alert about Kyrgyz issued 11/2009 http://adoption.state.gov/news/kyrgyzstan.html
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)