Local family stuck in China with adoptive son as visa system crashes
The Osterfeld family holds a photo of Kai. (Provided)
For 18 months, Mara and Jeremy Osterfeld had been waiting to adopt their baby boy Kai from China. On July 18, they finally made the journey across the world to bring home their son. While the adoption went great, trying to get home was a nightmare.
Maryn and Bryn have been waiting patiently for their mom and dad to come home with their new baby brother Kai but it seems the wait will be much longer than they anticipated.
"She was crying saying that hadn't gotten their visa. They didn't know what was going on," said Kathy Ottke, Mara Osterfeld's mother.
On July 19th, the U.S. State Department says their system that processes visas crashed creating an enormous backlog around the globe. While they are making progress getting it back online, hundreds of families adopting children like the Osterfelds were stuck.
Ann Marie Whyle has been following her friends' predicament on Facebook. More days in China means more money to get home. It is money the Osterfelds don't have to spend.
"The airlines could possibly be charging over a thousand dollars a ticket to rebook. We were all like in an uproar like what can we do? What can we do?" said Whyle.
Friends of the Osterfelds created a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the added expense as they continued to wait for the visa process.
"It's going to be one day at a time. We're not going to say by Friday, by Saturday, by Sunday. We just don't know," said Ottke.
The state department told FOX19 they have prioritized adoption and immigrant visa cases and hope to have everything back to normal in the next few days.
At least five families from the Tri-State were in China waiting to come home when the system crashed.
Hours after FOX19 spoke with the Osterfelds, Kathy Ottke reported that her daughter's visa had been processed and she would be heading home soon.