Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Letter To Our Congressman's Office

We have only posted a little so far about all that has been going on in Guatemala and with the US Embassy. This is a letter I just sent to a contact in our Congressman's office (thanks to Andy for making the contact). I wanted to share it with you all...

We are in Guatemala right now visiting our babies and signing paperwork for our second adoption. The reports we are hearing here are disturbing and center around the US Embassy. The US Embassy only allows 40 appointments per day and recently stopped allowing Guatemalan lawyers to work on multiple adoption cases during one appointment. This is requiring them to have many more appointments to get their cases submitted. Guatemalan lawyers are waiting all night in line to get an appointment slot the next day. We've heard that the US Embassy consul has kicked some lawyers out of the line because they had been given appointments on previous days. We know of families that have finished everything they are supposed to do with Guatemala on their adoption and are now waiting on the US Embassy to finalize everything and issue them an appointment so they can bring their children home. But the US Embassy is delaying, won't return their calls, won't answer their emails, and won't allow their agency to work on their behalf. The December 2nd post at http://www.adaguatemala.org/English/news/ reports that the US Embassy is threatening to cancel US visas of Guatemalan congressmen that do not vote for the laws they are lobbying for. If our lawyers cannot get our paperwork submitted to the US Embassy because they can't get an appointment or because they are kicked out of the line, then my son may not ever come home.

I don't know if you are a father or not, but I can tell you as the father of two Guatemalan children, Hannah and Noah, and one biological son, Joel, there is nothing more important to me, nothing more urgent, nothing more concerning than these issues involving and surrounding my children. Every day is critical. The thought that I may not be able to bring my two Guatemalan children home makes me sick inside. The knowledge that the Embassy of my own country may be the cause makes me angry. I implore you with all the sincerity and urgency I can to please help in bringing the US Embassy in Guatemala to accountability. The future of my children may depend on your actions and the actions of Congressman Neugebauer's office. Why is the US Embassy making it so difficult for American citizens that have followed all the laws already set forth by the United States and Guatemala? Why are they making it so difficult on Guatemalan lawyers to process cases on our behalf? Why are they lobbying for laws in Guatemala that are not in the best interest of Guatemalan children or American citizens?

Please look into the reports I've mentioned above and do it with all haste. Please ask Congressman Neugebauer to contact the Department of State and the US Embassy in Guatemala. We need the US Embassy to open their appointments back up to multiple cases, just as they had been doing. We need the US to speed up the pre-approval process. We need the US Embassy to finalize and issue appointments to parents who have completed everything with Guatemala so their children can come home.

I've attached a picture of Hannah and Noah. Aren't they beautiful?

Jason Hedges

1 comment:

Kiley said...

If you guys need any help with this, I have a friend in Senator John Cornyn's office that works full time as an embassy liaison for constituents. I've seen she and Senator Cornyn work wonders! Her name is Marissa Johannes and the office number is 972-239-1310. If you'd like to call me, I'd be happy to share her direct number with you, I just can't post it on a blog. We're praying that all goes well and you get to bring your precious babies home soon!