Wednesday, June 22, 2016
This is the letter that i sent via email to the President as it says that was the fastest way for him to receive it. I was only allowed 2500 characters....which on my Mac computer really only ended up being slightly more than 2000 characters. I had to really pare down what i wanted to say, but i hope! and think that i was able to communicate the jist of the situation. I know that some of you were probably curious as to what I wrote...i am still looking into what other things can be done. There isn't much right now...but i do have one other lead/contact to follow up on.
My mental state...hmmm....it has been hard. Part of me just really feels defeated, and discouraged hardly touches the emotional turmoil i've been through. We are still fighting. Steve has called the USCIS every day for the past 5 days only to get voicemails...but he isn't giving up. There is still hope...and who knows...maybe I'll get to meet the President out of this. :-) He needs that more than he knows! And just so you all know...I have sent copies to the Senators of North Dakota as well. :-)
I so appreciate ALL of the prayers you all have offered up on our behalf and I humbly ask that you keep doing so. We love you all!
What follows is my letter.....
Dear Mr. President,
Never in a million years did I think that I would need to write the President of the United States to help me, and yet here I am. I will do my very best to keep the letter as brief as possible, but please understand that there is a full story behind all of this and real people with real struggles and emotions.
Mr. President, while we were living overseas and were residents of Ghana, we adopted a 12 year old boy, Stephen (all above board we have every document to show that it was legal according to Ghana law). Due to circumstances (residents permits expiring, moving back to the U.S., and also needing to complete the necessary paperwork for our own government) we had to leave Ghana without our new son, this was heartbreaking to us.
The government of Ghana deemed the adoption to be in the best interest of the child according to their 1998 Children’s Act. We adopted Stephen because his bio mother could not take care of him with the situation with the step father. The bio father has never wanted anything to do with him, has never been in his life, is jobless and never contributed anything for Stephen's care. We have known Stephen since the day he was born. He has lived with us 4.5 years.
I know that we have gone about things rather backwards…adopting a child abroad before getting permission from the U.S. government. But honestly, we didn’t know. This was not something that was long planned out. Stephen had been living with us and we were looking at having to leave Ghana and we didn’t want to leave without him. We didn’t want him moved around from relative to relative that didn’t want him. And really the sticking point with the USCIS is that when his bio parents relinquished their rights of Stephen, they relinquished their rights to us, Steve and Jennifer Icenogle. They did this because he was living with us. This was done under the auspices of the Social Welfare of Ghana. the problem really is that we have a son that is legally ours in one country, Ghana, but we are not be able to bring him into our country, the U.S.
Mr. President, according to Ghana law he is my son. I desperately want to bring him home to us. But our case SIM .......... has been denied. Mr. President, is there anything you can do to help us? Please…I am begging you to help us. Is there something more we can do? Is there something different we can try? We’ve followed the rules and regulations, but to no avail. Please, sir, do what you can to help us.