An Abbotsford mom has had to return home from Ghana without her adopted son due to her deteriorating health.
Kimberlee Moran, who has multiple sclerosis, has been in the West African nation since August while she and her husband Clark – co-lead pastors at Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly – have been awaiting the final step in their adoption process.
The process to obtain a citizenship facilitation visa for two-year-old Ayo so they can bring him to Canada has been delayed by paperwork at the High Commission of Canada to Ghana.
The couple expected the process to take about a week, but after the delays, Clark returned home in September to go back to work, believing his wife and son wouldn’t be far behind.
Meanwhile, Kimberlee stayed in Ghana, but has been missing out on mandatory regular monitoring required for treatment she underwent last year.
The long delays have resulted in her health deteriorating, with new damage on her brain and spine, according to an online post from Sunday, Nov. 25.
“My hands and feet are numb, and I have facial palsy on the right side of my face. I can’t walk without assistance. I can’t open a water bottle on my own, and my smile is crooked,” Kimberlee wrote.
The couple’s out-of-country medical insurance has expired – it was valid for only 60 days – and Kimberlee said doctors strongly recommended that she immediately return to Canada for more comprehensive care.
She left for Abbotsford on Monday, while Clark, who returned to Ghana, stayed behind with Ayo.
She said the couple still have no idea when the visa process will be completed.
They have already spent three years going through all the other required steps of the adoption – all of which were approved and authenticated – including a five-month-long home study; compiling and sending paperwork to comply with adoption laws in Ayo’s birth country, Nigeria; and part one of Ayo’s citizenship process.
The Morans have been told by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that the second and final step of this process is “in the queue” for review and that priority is given to applications for adopted children, but they can’t give a time frame for the completion.
The couple are asking that at least a temporary visa be issued for Ayo.
“Canada, please let us all come home. We just want our family to be together,” Kimberlee wrote.
A petition urging the Canadian government to speed up the Morans’ application has garnered almost 10,000 signatures. It can be found online at change.org.
A GoFundMe account has also been started to help the couple with the expenses they have incurred during the process and possible further delays. (Search #bringhomeayo at gofundme.com.)
As well, a fundraiser takes place on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. at Duft & Co Brickhouse (2625 Montrose Ave.) in Abbotsford.
The Tiki Night event includes games, raffles, prizes and “tiki drinks.” Admission is a suggested $10, and all food is $5 for the evening. The event is open to those 19 years and older.