Couple Fights for 4 Years to Bring Daughter Home
Tom and Whitney Blaszak fought thieves and battled bureaucracy to bring daughter home. Then she shared what happened to her without them, and the tears flowed.
Tom and Whitney were on a mission trip in Ethiopia when sweet little 6-year-old Sophia crawled into their laps and sang her way into their hearts. They knew without a doubt that she was meant to be part of their family. That’s when they began the long fight to bring their daughter home.
The couple started adoption proceedings, which they thought would take a few months, but government corruption, theft and lots of legal red tape got in the way. It would end up being four long years before their daughter would finally join them in their home. “We had a daughter in Africa, and we were here. And we couldn’t get to her.”
“There’s no way she should be here right now. This is all about what God has done,” Whitney said.
The Blaszaks’ adoption agency, International Adoption Guides, stole thousands of dollars from them. The corrupt agency was eventually federally prosecuted for trafficking activity and fraud.
The Blaszaks fought on and finally brought Sophia home in July 2016. They had thought this would be the happy ending to their long battle, but they soon realized there were more struggles ahead.
As reporter Bethany Teague explains, “There was also the mystery of Sophia’s life before them. . . but they didn’t know the depths of her scars, or how helpless they would feel as parents until one night when she began to open up about private nightmares from a past without parents.”
Whitney remembers that fateful night, “I was crying, and I was holding her and rocking her, and telling her I loved her, and I was so sorry for the things that had happened before. And there was nothing I could do about it. . .I cried myself to sleep that night, and was broken in a new way.” Tom added,”You’d think that going through what she’d gone through that joy would be taken away, but it’s like, it’s in her.”
The family persevered and pledged to give each other “relentless love,” which was the name of their blog that followed their journey to bring Sophia home. “People say, ‘oh, she’s so lucky to have you’, and we’re like, ‘No! We’re so lucky to have her!'” Whitney said.
Now 10 years old, Sophia attends public school, plays on a basketball team, and has decided she wants to be a worship singer when she grows up. “Singing is worshipping God. And I like to worship God.” Sophia said.
WATCH: Couple Fights for Four Years to Bring Daughter Home