Good News: After 2-year wait, adopted children reach US from Congo

November 11, 2015
(Courtesy of Millions of Miles Facebook)

(Courtesy of Millions of Miles Facebook)

(AP) — After a wrenching delay of more than two years, a few American families celebrated on U.S. territory Wednesday with children adopted from Congo who were finally granted long-stalled exit permits.

There was a bittersweet welcoming ceremony at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., organized by some of the more than 400 U.S. families who will continue to wait. Congolese authorities recently approved exit permits for 14 children adopted by Americans, and for about 58 adopted by Canadian and European families.

Joyfully disembarking from the plane at Dulles were Jason and Jennefer Boyer of Sammamish, Washington, and their adopted sons Andre and Luke, who were offered tiny U.S. and Congolese flags by some of the welcoming crowd.

Jennefer Boyer had spent the past nine months with the boys in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa; her husband flew there to meet them and return to the U.S. together for a reunion with their two biological daughters.

“I am still in disbelief,” Jennefer Boyer said in a Facebook post before the flight home. “A family miracle is taking place.”

The Boyers also brought with them a Congolese boy named Isaac, who reunited with the couple — Eric and Jennifer Sands of Normal, Illinois — who completed his adoption in October 2013.

The Sandses have two biological daughters, and they also adopted twin sisters from Congo before the cutoff of exit permits. They just missed a chance to bring Isaac with them two years ago; both parents have made several subsequent visits to see him in Kinshasa.

Jennifer Sands said her family’s elation was tempered by empathy for the many other families whose adoptions remain stalled.

“This is such a bittersweet time,” she said. “We are so happy and blessed, but my heart is broken that the others don’t have the same reunion right now.”

Among those waiting parents was Julie Massie of Richmond, Virginia, who helped organize the welcome ceremony at Dulles.

Massie and her husband, Chris, who have a 7-year-old biological son, are waiting for the chance to bring home from Congo a 6-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy whose adoptions were approved more than two years ago.

“When we were told that the 14 children were getting exit permits, we were just elated for those families — we’ve all been in this together,” Julie Massie said.

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