Abbotsford family hopes to bring home adopted son before Christmas
An Abbotsford mother who’s been stuck in Ghana for months because of paperwork delays regarding her newly adopted son is suffering from a multiple sclerosis relapse.
Her husband, Clark Moran, is now taking a 30-hour trip back to the West African country to allow her to return to Canada while he stays with their son.
“Unfortunately, because of the conditions she’s been forced to live in over the last number of months, it almost seems as though this was inevitable. But regardless, this was our greatest fear,” Clark told CTV News at the Vancouver International Airport.
Kim and Clark recently adopted a young boy named Ayo from Nigeria. The couple travelled to Ghana on Aug. 1 to process the last bit of paperwork before they could bring him back to B.C.
Clark left the country in September, believing the family would be reunited in Canada soon, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Earlier this week, Kim began to feel numb in her limbs, leaving her unable to walk and use her hands. She’s also suffering from facial paralysis on one side.
Clark believes the MS flare-up was caused by the stress of the ordeal and the change in environment.
“She’s a hero, I don’t know where she tucks her cape. She’s as brave as they come,” he said.
Their adoption agency recognized the emergency and paid for Clark’s flight to Accra, Ghana. His one Christmas wish is for the family to take a return flight back.
“I’m just hopeful that [the federal government] can find it in their hearts to recognize that all we’re asking is a temporary visa to be handed over to our son, so we can come back as a family and he can wait for his citizenship to be completed here.”
The department in charge of immigration told CTV News the two-step adoption and immigration process can take between six and eight months, but that timeframe can be as long as two years depending on the child's country of origin and other factors.
"Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is sensitive to the emotional stress that can be caused when there are issues with cases involving children," a spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.
"Nonetheless, IRCC must take the time needed to ensure that all inter-country adoption cases involving children comply with Canadian law, the law in the country in which the adoption takes place and with our international obligations."
Their family friend, Brent Cantelon, is hopeful the government can come through with a “Christmas miracle.”
“We live in the best country in the world and you’d think we could work our way through this red tape,” Cantelon said. “We’re just hoping for compassionate intervention somehow.”
Kim has now been in Ghana for over 100 days and her out-of-the-country medical insurance only covers emergencies for the first 60 days, she shared on Facebook.
“To give us another blow while we’re down, I received a call while I was laying here in a hospital bed,” she wrote. “None of my medical bills are covered. I’m literally living a nightmare.”
Clark said the adoption process has been soured, adding “the joy of the process has been sucked out.”
But his son, whose name means my joy has come in Yoruba, reminds him why they’ve persevered through the nearly four-month-long ordeal.
“He’s worth it. Talking to my wife the other day, in the state that she’s in, she even said she’d go through this all again for him.”
With files from Allison Hurst and Maria Weisgarber