COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – A day after going public, a Coquitlam man is still waiting for bureaucrats to pave the way to bring his wife and their adopted baby home in time for Canada Day.
Ryan Hoag is at his wits’ end. He says his is one of five families given the green light to adopt a child in Japan, but are now caught in limbo after paper-pushers decided they weren’t going to issue the necessary visas.
He and his wife met their adopted daughter in early May. He stayed for the first three weeks before making the tough decision to return to Canada at the beginning of June to help take care of his ill father.
“Probably the toughest thing that I’ve ever done in my life was to say goodbye to my wife and my newborn child in a foreign country,” Hoag tells NEWS 1130.
Hoag’s wife is still in Japan, trying to take care of their baby — all alone with no family, no friends, and really no support.
When they were matched with their baby, Hoag says the provincial government signed off and approved of the adoption.
“So, we flew to Japan, care and custody of the babies came into our hands, and it was sent for final paperwork to the Canadian embassy, basically to get the visa to bring our child home,” he explains.
Hoag says typically that process takes a couple of weeks. But he says the weeks dragged on, and he didn’t get any responses from various channels of government.
“It took quite a number of weeks until we finally received an email stating that the government was temporarily suspending the visas as they investigated some information that was based upon the U.S. state department’s website,” he claims.
He tells us two of the other families have had to go back and forth for work or to get medications because no one expected them to be in Japan for so long.
Hoag says the emotional toll this ordeal has brought on is “extraordinary.”
“At the end of the day, we want to care for our children. And I’m concerned about the stress that it’s put on my wife. And what happens if she gets sick? There’s nobody then that can take care of our child,” he tells us.
“I worry about those little moment as a father that you would appreciate, whether it’s medical checkups or measuring the weight and the size, and learning to interact more. You’re missing out on those moments, which are really what make life so wonderful.”
He’s taking things one hour at a time. “You keep looking at the suitcases that are packed and ready to go to pick up your wife and your baby. You do everything that you can to make it through the day. But human nature — you can only withstand something for so long before you break.”
According to Hoag, he has been told that somebody from Japan has apparently reached out to the U.S. government about a change. He says the information has been somewhat vague.
“Also, it’s U.S. immigration policy… Why are we so concerned about U.S. immigration policy? Canadians have their own immigration policy.”
Hoag says he and his lawyer hasn’t been given any timeline as to when he might get answers.
“We just want to get home for Canada Day.”