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Struggle to adopt girl suddenly eases

BY WAYNE GREENE - June 3, 2012                                  
TULSA — In Christian theology, Grace is the unearned assistance of God — the divine reaching into the human world to set things right.
In Nancy Baney’s house, Grace is the skinny little brown-eyed toddler — fast approaching her third birthday, eating cereal with her big plastic spoon and drinking milk from a sippy cup.
But she’s also an outward sign of God’s help.
“It’s a miracle. It’s nothing short of a miracle,” said Baney.
“It just doesn’t happen this way most of the time.”
After more than two years of struggles with the U.S. government that left the Baney family stretched across the globe, Grace was granted a humanitarian parole by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in April.
The parole allows the girl to travel to the United States for medical treatments for up to two years — long enough for Baney to adopt Grace and set her on a path toward citizenship.
For the first time in a long time, Grace’s story seems likely to have a happy ending.
The story that led Grace to Tulsa is complex.
She was born June 7, 2009, in Gorja, Pakistan.
When she was 3 months old, an international adoption agency put her in Baney’s arms for the first time. The child’s Christian birth mother was dead and the birth father was unable to care for a newborn.
The child faced a dreadful fate in Pakistani institutions, Baney was told.
Baney’s efforts to adopt the girl went smoothly until Oct. 14, 2009, when U.S. officials discovered that the child’s birth story was falsified.
The birth certificate and identity documents had been forged by the adoption agency, which hired a Pakistani couple to pose as the child’s birth parents. Four Pakistanis were arrested, but Baney was cleared — she was the victim of the fraud, not its perpetrator.

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