After nine years of tirelessly working to adopt her son, Romulo Perez-Jacobs, Carrie Jacobs received word during a hearing on Friday that the adoption has been finalized.
In 2009, Romulo, now 11, entered the United States on a medical visa. He was sponsored by a mission and three months of treatment later he returned to his native Guatemala, where he spent the next year in an orphanage, according to Jacobs.
“I met Romulo in May 2008 at Shriners Hospital in Boston. He spent a couple months there being treated for burns after he was in a fire (in Guatemala) as a baby. After many surgeries, he was released and went back to Guatemala and was placed in an orphanage,” she said.
In 2009, a Guatemalan judge gave her permission to bring Romulo back to the U..S on the medical visa to continue his care.
“Guatemalan adoptions had closed by then due to corruptions in the system. I’ve been fighting to complete his adoption since then,” she said.
After years of fighting, Jacobs was ecstatic after learning the adoption had officially been approved Friday.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “This has been a very long journey that has included several trips to Guatemala, emails, calls and visits to Guatemalan and U.S. government officials, Guatemalan and U.S. court hearings, immigration and adoption lawyers, but we knew it was God’s plan. I had no doubt we would eventually see this day and officially become a family.”
Jacobs said she and her family plan to continue to serve in Guatemala.
“We want to serve as a family in Guatemala. We plan to start by leading short term missions teams there from our church and maybe eventually move there to serve long term,” she said.
According to Jacobs, Romulo is the second child she has adopted. Her daughter, Avi Jacobs, was adopted from foster care.
Jacobs has been recognized for her efforts to adopt Romulo.
In 2013, she was given the Angels in Adoption award, for which she was nominated by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.
“Carrie is being honored for her tireless efforts to adopt (Romulo) from Guatemala,” said Allison Cappa, CCAI director of programs said in 2013. “She has never given up hope that one day her efforts will pay off and her family will be together.”
Jacob brought attention to the need to improve international adoption methods, Cappa said at the time.
Angels in Adoption is CCAI’s public awareness campaign which began in 1999 as a press campaign and grew into an official organization in 2001. Congress members can recognize constituents who are enriching the lives of foster children and orphans in the U.S. and abroad.