I was blessed to gain some true men of God as brothers when I was in college at North Greenville. Out of those relationships, the Via family became very near to me. I have told you about Josh Via and his family’s quest to bring their daughter home. Through many crazy adventures, their daughter came home even when it didn’t seem possible.
The picture above is of Jonathan Via (or Smooth as most know him) and his daughter, Chloe.
She is not coming home. Red tape is prohibiting this girl who is legally theirs from coming home.
But that isn’t stopping Smooth. What you are about to read may be the most powerful reminder that the Church is still alive.
Here are Smooth’s words:
In December of 2010 my wife Kelly and I began the process of adopting a little girl from the babies home that Journey sponsors in Uganda, Africa.
Our first Ugandan court date was scheduled for November of 2011. It was subsequently cancelled and rescheduled for April 2012. After our court date in April, we were awarded guardianship of Chloe and immediately began the process of immigrating her to the US.
In June of 2012, the US Embassy in Uganda denied our request for a visa saying that our case was “not clearly approvable.” They sent our case to the US Citizenship and Immigrations Services field office in Nairobi, Kenya. It was during this process that we fully anticipated being granted our visa. However, after several months, we were sent a request for more evidence. With the help of an attorney, Kelly traveled back to Uganda to collect the information they required. Nevertheless, in October the USCIS informed us of their intent to finally deny Chloe a visa, giving us 1 more month to change their minds. We hired a new attorney to fight for us during this process and we have been waiting to hear back once again.
On December 31st, 2012 we received word back from the USCIS, and it became clear that they will not be granting us a visa to bring Chloe home.
Our intent through this whole process was to provide a home for a little girl who had no family. Of course, we thought that her home would be here in the US with us. However, that is not currently a possibility. Therefore, if we cannot bring Chloe home, we will bring home to Chloe. On Wednesday of last week, I informed Pastor Jimmy of our intent to pack up our family and move to Africa so that we can be a family together with our little girl. Our plan is to move toward the end of March or beginning of April.
After all, this is what God did for me. He provided a home and a family for me. I was not his, yet he called me his own and adopted me into his family. Throughout this entire process, only one thing has been crystal clear: “Fight for her.” In particularly dark and desperate moment, God spoke those words to me. “That’s the point. You are supposed to fight for her and never give up, because I fought for you and I didn’t stop until I had you as my own. I fight for my church. I fight for my bride. I fight for my children, and I will never stop. You will fight for her, because I fought for you.” He fought for me. He pursued me. And he never stopped until he had me. And when I was unable to come to him, he came to me. Unable to reach God, Jesus came to us. He sacrificed everything and came to live among us, so that those who were far off might be drawn near. If he did this for me, how can I do any less? If my little girl cannot come to me, I will go to her…
- My little girl is no longer an orphan, and I will not stand by, allowing her to live like one. I will not abandon her.
- God is still in control, and I believe that he has orchestrated all of these events. I trust him completely.
This is the rest of the post. If you are like me, you are shocked. No one in their right mind would have thought bad of them had they stopped in this process.
But true love won’t relent.
I will keep you posted as to their situation and also if there is a way we can help. I asked him last night how I could help, and he said that God is using him to tell a story. “Just help us tell that story.” So that’s what I’m doing. If I can do more, I will.
Right now, just be reminded that Jesus is making a difference on this earth. Take comfort in that.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
3 thoughts on “This Child Isn’t Coming Home”
such beautiful sentiments in a heartbreaking situation.
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