Filler Family: A Miraculous Homecoming
Our staff is constantly in awe of the way God moves on the behalf of children and families. Recently, Kelsey Hansen, Director of Programs, got a front row seat to one of our most amazing stories yet! Today she took some time to share about this special homecoming:
Daniel and Amanda Filler came home a couple of weeks ago with their boys from Haiti and the circumstances around their home coming were nothing short of a miracle!
A few weeks ago, we knew the family was very close to being eligible to bring their boys home but there were several significant hurdles that would have to be overcome in order for it to work out. To be honest, some of the hurdles seemed insurmountable… but GOD!
Going into Friday morning the following was all pending and needed to be complete if there was any way for the kids to come home.
- The family needed USCIS approval in the United States.
- The embassy in PAP needed to receive that approval from USCIS
- The embassy then needed to finish their review of the boys’ file and issue them a visa.
- After the visa, the boys needed a final travel authorization from the IBESR in Haiti.
Right now, there are no flights arriving in Haiti due to the pandemic. The Filler family also needed to find a flight for the boys to depart Haiti and come to the states for their homecoming. As you can see the odds were not stacked in their favor. As an additional issue they needed to find a trustworthy escort who was already planning to travel back to the US. No one can come into Haiti right now, not even a parent bringing home their child. And no one without a US passport or US visa already in hand can leave Haiti.
On Friday morning, the needed approvals came through in the United States confirming the family’s eligibility. The embassy then waited for formal confirmation. They quickly confirmed that they did, indeed, receive the confirmation. The embassy shared that they would try their best to issue the visas for the boys the same day!
Around the same time, the Fillers heard of a flight leaving Port au Prince on Saturday – they also started connecting with people online and learned of someone who was willing to potentially escort the boys back on that flight, if everything came together.
About halfway through the day, the embassy confirmed they were issuing the childrens visas and would be printing them for pick up by end of the day! At that time, although we weren’t sure we would be able to get the IBESR travel approval, we knew that we had to start vetting this potential escort and making plans, in case everything worked out.
The individual they connected with on Facebook was not personally known to them – he was literally a random contact. I was seriously concerned because I wasn’t going to be able to allow just anyone to take the boys.
I set up a phone call with the individual in order to start vetting him. It turns out that he is a former child psychologist with over 30 years experience, he relocated to Haiti 9 years ago after pursuing a call on his life. He speaks fluent creole, has children of his own and was able to provide personal and professional references. His references only had good things to say and confirmed and verified everything he shared. After these conversations it was clear God was orchestrating that connection.
At that point, we felt confident the flight was happening and we had a trustworthy escort! We now needed the embassy to issue the visas and the central authority to give their approval letter. After a full day of nonstop work and scrambling, everything came together and at the last minute, we got all the approvals we needed for the boys to fly home on Saturday.
Just a couple weekends ago, the Filler family flew into Ft. Lauderdale and met their boys at the airport. They are now home together as a family.
In 24 hours we literally went from a completely impossible thought of getting these children home to having them with their family in Florida.
To learn more about the Haiti adoption program visit our website.
*This story was shared with permission from the Filler family and involved America World staff and representatives.
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