WBIR: Sen. Alexander to help East TN family with Congo adoptions

Posted on July 17, 2014

Senator Lamar Alexander is asking President Barack Obama to take action and speed up adoptions from the Congo.

Alexander wrote the president a letter Wednesday. In it he says, "It is time the president helps end this heart wrenching delay to see that these children and their adoptive parents are able to leave the country and return to the United States."

Alana Carroll, an East Tennessee mother, is waiting to adopt her two boys Neema and Canaan from the Congo. She says it can't come soon enough.

"I mean I knew adoptions would be difficult, both domestically and internationally," said Carroll. "Internationally there's a lot of red tape with the government. But, I never thought it would be like this and the adoption would be complete but you didn't get your children."

Carroll and her husband Justin have been waiting for months to live with Canaan and Neema.

The Congo suspended the exits back in September, leaving parents like the Carrolls waiting even though they've finished their paperwork. Since then, the boys have been living with a foster mother in the Congo.

Carroll says if something doesn't happen soon she may be forced to take action herself.

"These children need a home just like all children do. We're not giving up on them no matter what," said Carroll. "We will move over there if something doesn't happen soon."

Carroll says the distance has taken a financial toll because she and her husband are paying for foster care in Africa.

She says she FaceTimes with the boys every two weeks and speaks with their foster mom almost every day.

Alexander says the delay in the Congo is affecting at least 23 families in Tennessee.