When we attended the World Congress of Families IX at Utah, our hearts and mind were open and our shattered hopes is given another light to believe that with God all things are possible. We felt relief and assured that God has a plan for us. I know if I stay in silence, God will not make a way for people to know our story. This is our mission to fulfill. We are waiting for answers to our prayers. Miracle will make it happen.
I am Agnes Fernandez and my husband is Alejandro. We are active LDS in the Philippines. We are holding Tourist Visas (B1/B2) and arrived here in the United States of America with the real intention to take full custody of 2 US Citizen orphan boys who happened to be our nephews. My sister died last June 24, 2014, leaving alone her 18 months old boy and 23 weeks old premature baby who had to deliver thru Caesarian Operation after her last breath. These boys are the only link and legacy she has for us as a family. They are our blood related connection to her. We are willing to sacrifice our time, resigned already from our teaching job in the Philippines and left our families behind to show that we are here to stay with them which we had promised my dead sister before she died. We could have stayed in the Philippines and have been living comfortably with our 7 children who are faithful and obedient not only to us their earthly parents but more importantly to our Father in Heaven. After all, we have raised and nourished our children in the light and admonition of the Lord. But now we are bringing to the altar our hearts and soul for a purpose and mission so noble and full of compassion. We are willing to be parents again to these two boys.
Right from the start, there are outpouring Miracles happening, the premature baby is getting healthier without oxygen and heart monitor, though still has life-long medical issues due to fibrosis of his lungs and will continue to follow up with pulmonologist at Childrens Hospital. We were given B1/B2 visas to be able to visit and care for the 2 boys. TheDepartment of the Health and Human Services has already cleared us of background check and the Court approved already for us to bond and have 24/7 transition time with the boys. The Hospital, where my sister Helen worked as a Physical Therapist, has offered us full time positions with full benefits as soon as we have clearance from Immigration to work even though we are not in the medical profession. Thus, we will be productive citizens of the United States of America. The foster care parents are fully supportive in helping us be the guardians of these 2 boys. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is our only hope for us to take this effect. They are just waiting for us to have our visa status be expedited so we can take the full custody of 2 boys.
We have a sister to sister pending petition last 2005 and since my sister passed away my brother-in-law is more than willing to be a Substitute Sponsor and filled out all of the required paperwork. According to the rules that I read a Brother-in-law CAN be a substitute sponsor. We feel that if this petition would be expedited there is a possibility thru humanitarian consideration because of the circumstances we are facing.
We had a scheduled appointment last April 29,2015 and were advised to submit all supporting documents for the I-131 application advanced parole instead for humanitarian consideration. We felt that Immigration officer is really there to help us because she felt our sincerity and understand our predicament. We know she has the heart for the two boys and also that is the desires of my deceased sister that a family member will take care of her 2 boys here in America. She was an American and worked very hard contributing to this nation and her boys are Americans and deserve the future that their Mother planned for them. The premature boy would not survive without the medical care provided by Children’s Hospital. So, when we received the notice for the scheduled finger printing / biometric last July 17, we were really happy and felt that another miracle was happening especially when were told at that time that our visas were paroled with no expiration date and that our alien number cards will be delivered to us with in seven working days, we all shouted for joy and praised God for the great blessings. We even announced it to the DHHS, the Hospital, the legal counsel of the 2 boys, our associates and family members.
But when 3 weeks had passed and the parole cards have not yet arrived in the mail, we became so worried and decided to write Immigration supervisor to shed light on this. We were saddened when she said that unfortunately that it was not favorable decision and a denial notice was sent to us. We were advised personally last August 20, 2015 during our Info pass Appointment at Immigration Field Office, by William Connor to apply for an Extension of stay instead. (I-539).WE are still waiting for the resut of our extension to stay here. And the H1 Visa or working Visa is recommended avenue for us to stay. We are looking for all options to find jobs and companies that will sponsor us for work.
These boys are our own flesh and blood. When we came here the first day, the boys, the Miracle boy was still on Oxygen and Heart Monitor that needs special health care and be held as often as possible. The 2 years and four months old oldest boy has difficulty in speech and emotionally disturbed and has been crying/ tantrum stage because of the many caregiver provider he had gone through..
We got so confused and deprived because we are now running out of time. We cried because the 2 boys are now calling us their mom and dad and felt that we are now a family. They are now sleeping with us, teaching them in the gospel way and constantly bonding with them in day to day activities.
Are laws, policies more important than the feelings and love of family relationship? That means humanitarian and family consideration is now at stake for the sake of these 2 American orphaned boys and our only family link for my sister. We do not want to forsake them and stay in the Philippines knowing that these boys have a family to turn to. If you are in our shoes, will you give away your real blood family to the foster care who cannot decide to choose for themselves? We pray that God will touch the heart of those people who are really wiling to help us for the best interest of humanity. We promise that we will be an asset to this country and we will give our best to rear these two boys in the way God wants them to be.
We were really heart-broken about our situation. . How can we miss the spirit of the law or perhaps the constitution of the United States. How could the USA readily provide amnesty for so many who have violated the law of the land to come to this promised land, how could they provide asylum to some people whose only purpose was to flee their country on the basis of preserving their own lives, and then turn a blind eye, and a cold heart to two honorable parents who are willing to sacrifice their lives and what they have to care for two young orphans?
We have to browse thru history to learn that the Filipinos have always been a great ally of the United States of America. We were fighting the Spaniards when you were engaged in the US-Spanish War, we were fighting side by side with America against the Japanese Imperial Army in WWII, we fought with you in Korea, we sent our finest in Vietnam, we have aligned with you in every important arena in the world. And yet we were not rewarded like your former foes and other allies.
With all our hearts, we plead with you to help us in this righteous endeavor. Our desires are pure, our sacrifices are noble, our hearts are full of hopes and love for these two boys. We have every document to show that we are here for the 2 boys. We have maintained and sustained communications with the people in position in various agencies, DHHS, USCIS, Lincoln Court County and State. We have only a few days left to fight our battle. We will never surrender our rights to last breath for these life long mission.
We will really appreciate if you can offer a time to communicate with us for humanitarian and family consideration. God is our only refuge because we know that the fundamental principle of the STATE is FAMILY UNITY. Looking forward of Building bridges with people like you and connecting family. Thank you for finding time to read our story and study it out. God bless you and best regards.