TULSA, Okla. — Nearly 10,000 children are adopted in Oklahoma each year. For Tulsa families looking to grow, adoption gives them the opportunity to provide a forever home for a child needing love.
2 Works for You spoke to a family currently undergoing international adoption. They're waiting for five-year-old Celine, their daughter to be, who was supposed to be coming home in may, but now things may be changing due to the coronavirus.
“I am five and a half, and I am five years old,” Ruth and Allen Haff said.
Allen and Ruth Haff are brother and sister, for life.
Their parents, Shane and Beth Haff, have been married eight years now.
After giving birth to Allen, their first child nearly five years ago, they decided to expand their family by adopting Ruth.
Ruth and Allen know a new sibling will join them soon, and they tell us they are excited to meet her.
"She can play in my room, yeah, and sleep time,” Ruth said.
Their parents tell 2 Works for You they are expecting the newest addition to their family to arrive next month, and have been waiting since September of 2018.
The coronavirus pandemic changed things, and now they aren't sure if her arrival will go as planned.
“The first picture that we are seeing of her, she still had the round toddler face and now, she just looks like a big kid. So, we kind of get to see her grow through pictures and through updates,” Beth said.
They say they know they are lucky because they've been getting to know Celine for years as they go through the international adoption process, but it's not easy.
“While some people would think that is amazing, at the same time, it’s kind of heart breaking to see all the time that we are missing her, knowing that we want to be her forever family,” Beth said.
Because of travel bans, and safety concerns, their biggest worry right now is not knowing when their daughter Celine will join them at home.
“We are still clinging to some kind of hope that it won’t end up affecting the process,” Shane said.
Debbie Norura, the executive director for Nightlight Christian Adoptions, has working with this family, and many others since the beginning of their international adoption process.
Norura says it could be a lot worse.
“We have families that were able to get to a certain point with the adoption of children, and they have not been allowed to leave the country," Norura said.
It's one of the many issues their facing in their office.
“They have been trapped in this whole situation and it’s been a very difficult thing," Norura said. "So, at this point having these people there, some have lived with them for months, some a couple years, and now are unable to get home with them”
But they are working to get a grip on things.
“We are asking the state department to help intervene with that, and get these families home," Norura said.
As they try to bring their family together, the Haff's say they will try to be patient.
But it's hard waiting to meet their soon to be daughter, and complete their family.
“She is going to thrive in a forever family and a safe and secure environment," Beth said. "We’ve been counting down the days till she gets that.”
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