Letter: MP helps mend a hole for family

Kelowna letter-writer says Stephen Fuhr helped his family deal with adoption issues

To the editor:

If you’re like most Canadians (myself included) you probably voted for your local MP with limited understanding of what exactly their job is, or what they do.

Even more specifically what they can do directly for you. I mean, if a tree falls in the forest, right? Well, what if for once the tree fell on your house?

For the past four years, our family has been riding through the international adoption process. Then nearly a year ago we had been matched with an amazing little boy. We immediately hopped on a plane to meet our future son then again with our other children a few months later. It was hard, but we maintained our patience throughout this process respecting the speed at which third world cultures work. So you might imagine how excited we were upon hearing the adoption on the other end was complete and our documents had landed in the hands of the Canadians at our embassy for our exit visa.

Again, we waited for due process with our go bags at the door. All available information pointed to this part not taking too long (seven days).

However, this also lagged. Planning our work/home life became ambiguous and stressful especially with only a few direct flights going into the country before the holidays. Needless to say after another extended period of waiting and hundreds of unanswered calls to our embassy abroad, we received a one-line response that it will probably be a few more weeks. No explanation. Our adoption agency was as frustrated as we were and they suggested we attempt to contact our local MP for assistance. ‘My MP? OK.’

After contacting MP Fuhr’s office they had us down to sign a consent form granting the MP’s office permission to work on our behalf. To my surprise, MP Fuhr phoned me directly from Ottawa to gather background on my family’s situation. Later that same day the MP’s office called to confirm that the exit visa request was complete and approved. In shock we booked our tickets and were off to the airport.

A few days later my wife and I not wanting to waste any more time went directly to the Canadian embassy abroad. Armed with our passports, a file number and MP Fuhr’s business card, we surprised the embassy when we showed up on their doorstep. They undoubtedly recognized our file from the countless calls and federal involvement in the immigration process.

The Visa and exit documents were ours. Off to the orphanage and back to Canada. So, what does my MP do for me? Well… besides mending the hole in our family’s hearts and giving immigration a human perspective, I believe our Member of Parliament hears my homegrown concerns and works for me to protect them in places I can’t.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, Mr. Fuhr.

Dustin Sargent, Kelowna

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