Heartbreaking situation

From email … I don’t know these people, but have no reason to doubt their veracity …

Hi all,

I am sorry that I have to write this email to you, but we are obligated to try everything in our power to help our daughter get out of China.

My wife, Candace Litchford, and I are currently in China in the midst of an adoption of a 4 1/2 year old girl named Guang Yue Ye (her American name will be Harper Yue Ye Scruggs). After the adoption was completed on the Chinese side (she is our legally adopted daughter according to China), we were provided information that she had 2 months ago been diagnosed with tuberculosis, a diagnosis made through blood tests, chest x-rays, and skin tests. She was tested again a few days ago via skin PPD test and with another chest x-ray, both once again confirming the tuberculosis.

We were not provided this information prior to travelling to China, and now we are in the awful position of being the parents of this poor girl and not being able to bring her back to the US. To backtrack a bit, as of July 1 the CDC/DHS has a new regulation requiring all immigrants to pass a TB screening, and if they fail the screening, they are required to wait until full treatment is administered in the country of origin before coming to the US. We have been advised by both our pediatrician and our international adoption specialist (Dr. Patrick Mason of the International Adoption Center in Fairfax, VA) that since Yue Ye has been taking a triad of anti-TB drugs for over a month, she is not contagious. We have obtained letters from our pediatrician indicating their intent to continue monitoring and treatment for Harper’s condition. Yet even with all of this and filling out the required Class A 601 Waiver Form, we have been told it will take over 6 months for the form to be processed by the CDC/DOS/DHS.

There is a waiver process, and our adoption coordinator Irene Jordan at Adoptions Together has been communicating along with us with our local congressman Jim Moran of VA, as well as with the various consulates and agencies involved.

The problem with the waiver process is that it requires clean (negative) sputum tests for TB before travel. The sputum tests themselves take 6 weeks for a result, and if they are positive, two more months must pass before taking the tests again, and so on, in addition to the approval time required for the waiver. We have had our daughter in our possession here for some time now, and she has bonded quite strongly with us. We do not have the financial means to stay with her, as it would mean most likely losing our jobs in the US and defaulting on our current financial obligations such as our mortgage, etc. We also have a 6-year old son in the US that we must get back to.

We cannot abandon our daughter back to the state-run Chinese orphanage, nor can we stay. It would be extremely cruel to Yue Ye, and we have no way of knowing that she would be provided the treatment she requires. In addition, she would be exposed once again to whatever source it was that infected her with TB in the first place, and we may never get to bring her home.

We are left to grasp at whatever straws there may be out there to get our daughter home. The purpose of this email is to ask if you could contact your Senators on our behalf, perhaps finding the immigration caseworker for their office and forwarding this email. Often Senators will not interfere with issues that involve the constituents of other Senators, but please try for us nevertheless. We have also contacted our Senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, but we do not yet know the extent of their help if any. Of course we would be immediately taking Yue Ye to American doctors and treating her once we are in the US; we are no strangers to TB medication, as our first adopted son from Kazakhstan tested positive via skin test and so was put on medication as well.

Thanks for any help you might be able to provide. If you need to contact us here in China, we can be reached via this email address, or on Jay’s cellphone xxx-xxx-xxxx. We also have a Skype account and can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx. You can contact us anytime day or night (China is 12 hours off of Eastern Standard time). Please visit our blog at http://jayscruggs.livejournal.com/, and view the attached pictures to see what a precious little girl this is.

Also, please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think can help in any way. It would seem in everyone’s best interest for an exception to be made for this little girl under medical duress, so that she can come home and receive the treatment she so desperately needs and be part of a loving family.

We would greatly appreciate your help in asking your Senators and Congressmen to intercede on our behalf, and on Harper’s behalf.

Thanks again,

James Scruggs and Candace Litchford

I’ve redacted their numbers because I’m not comfortable posting them, but if anybody wants them just email me.