An Abbotsford couple have now brought their adopted son home from Nigeria after facing multiple challenges that drew national attention and widespread public support.
Kim and Clark Moran reported on social media on Thursday that Ayo, 3, is now home in Abbotsford with them.
“Not much else to say except we are all at home! It is finished! #broughthomeayo,” Kim posted on Facebook along with a photo of the trio sitting on a bed, with Ayo sporting a Toronto Blue Jays T-shirt.
The pair – co-lead pastors at Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly – first went public last fall after experiencing frustrations with the adoption process.
They had travelled to Nigeria last August to finalize the adoption of Ayo after going through all the other required steps, including a five-month-long home study and compiling and sending paperwork to comply with adoption laws in Ayo’s birth country.
They then submitted the final step in Ayo’s citizenship application, complete with all the required supporting documents.
They had to do this in Accra, Ghana because there is no Canadian immigration office in Nigeria.
Kim says they were told by other families going through the adoption process that this final step should take about one or two weeks.
Clark returned home on Sept. 21 to go back to work, believing his wife and son wouldn’t be far behind.
But ongoing delays in the final steps in the process resulted in Kim and Clark taking turns staying with Ayo – first in Ghana and then in the Middle East to be near friends – over the next several months until they could get approval to bring their son home.
The discovered that their application was being held up by the Canadian government, and they continued to press for answers about what was taking so long.
Meanwhile, an online petition urging that the process be accelerated was signed by almost 30,000 people, and a GoFundMe page raised almost $65,000 towards their travel costs and the expense of supporting two households.
The issue was further complicated by Kim’s health issues related to her multiple sclerosis.
The couple’s out-of-country medical insurance had expired – it was valid for only 60 days – and Kim was forced to come back home for treatment last November before she was well enough to return to Ayo a few weeks later.
In December, they received word that the Canadian government had “questioned the character of the Morans, the credibility of their adoption story and the ability of Kim to parent Ayo given her MS diagnosis,” Kim posted on her Facebook page.
The couple said they had responded to “these extremely ill-founded and unsupported concerns” with “overwhelming evidence” to counteract them, but it took another six months for them to be approved to bring Ayo home.
Now, the couple says they are enjoying everyday experiences with their son, such as going to the market and having their first dinner together in their Abbotsford home.
“It’s very ordinary, but it’s these simple moments I’ve been craving,” Kim posted.