Three Year Wait for Congo Adoption Continues for Maryland Family
Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 10:10 AM EDT
A Maryland family has been waiting for three years to welcome their adopted daughter home.
Hundreds of families are facing the same crisis. Last September Congo's government but a ban on international adoptions. To put in perspective what this may mean for the orphans, less than 50% of the children in Congo survive until their fifth birthday, due to factors including AIDS, famine and violence.
At least 10 children have died while waiting to go home to their families.
At the Democratic Republic of Congo's embassy in Washington DC, 600 American families are waiting for approval from the government to finalize their adoptions.
Ana Lee, a deaf Congolese girl who loves to smile and dance, is one of the children who has been in limbo over coming to the US for the past three years. Jovana Jones, Ana Lee's adoptive mother, has signed official documents and has gone as far as contacting President Obama for help to get her little girl home.
Ana Lee contracted Malaria recently and it was Jovana Jones' responsibility to pay for her daughter's hospital expenses.
Not only are Jones and her husband ready to bring their daughter home, but their three children are eager to stop the Skype chats and video messages and meet their new sister in person.
"I want to sign her book so she knows how to read," says brother Trevor. Anaha says she can't wait to share her room with her sister.
US Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo James Swan has met with Congolese officials in an effort to open up exit permits for the adopted children.
Congolese officials say they will not make exceptions to their policy, not even for children with medical conditions, since they contend the adoption papers could have been falsified.