Doug and Brooke Waller of West Arkansas are celebrating the homecoming of their two children Joseph and Rose from Uganda. Friends and family held up welcome signs at the airport upon their arrival.
The joyous day came after a long, difficult battle with the United States government regarding immigration requirements. “We had to leave them behind and say we’ll be back and that was the toughest departure we had of all the trips we made,” said Doug. For quite some time the couple felt stuck in the middle between their two kids Henry and Teddy at their home in Arkansas and their two children in Africa.
Doug and Brooke are both U.S. Navy veterans. They adopted Henry and Teddy from Ethiopia a few years ago. One would think that experience would present smooth future adoption. That was certainly not the case in this instance.
The Wallers started the adoption of 4-year-old Joseph and 2-year-old Rose in May of 2016. The Ugandan courts approved the adoption and awarded them full custody of the children. Although the couple had been working with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. denied the proper immigration status needed to bring the kids home.
One of the children was critically ill and in need of modern medical care. Doug and Brooke had to pay out-of-pocket for foster care expenses to the family who was caring for Joseph and Rose in Uganda. The couple launched an online campaign for the awareness and fundraising needed to bring their children home. The couple extends many thanks to everyone who helped them along the way. The family is anxious to have some down time at home to play and bond as a family.