Still waiting for Obediah

Abbotsford couple Albert and Sia Mackoty have returned from a trip to Sierra Leone, from where they hope to bring their nephew, age 3.

Abbotsford couple Albert and Sia Mackoty are hoping to bring their nephew Obediah to Canada from Sierra Leone.

Abbotsford couple Albert and Sia Mackoty are hoping to bring their nephew Obediah to Canada from Sierra Leone.

An Abbotsford couple who had hoped to bring their orphaned nephew to Canada from Sierra Leone, Africa have to wait a little longer.

Albert and Sia Mackoty returned at the end of May from a one-month trip to their homeland. They had gone there not only to meet three-year-old Obediah for the first time, but to begin the steps involved in possibly adopting him.

Sia, speaking after their return, said they discovered adoption would be a costly and lengthly process. Instead, they have decided to sponsor the boy to become a permanent Canadian resident.

“I’m hoping it won’t take that long because I want him to start school here when he’s six, and he has a lot of development to do,” she said.

Obediah is the son of Sia’s sister, Isata, who died in February of malaria and typhoid. She had not told anyone who the father was, and he had not been involved in Obediah’s life.

Sia’s mother has since taken over his care, but she does not have the financial means to support him. The village where she lives has no schools or running water.

Sia said Obediah will not have a good future if he remains in Sierra Leone.

“He lacks a lot of things,” she said.

The couple have already bonded with Obediah, who Sia describes as a “very friendly and very lovable boy” who adored going for car rides while they were visiting.

Sia hopes that she and Albert can also sponsor her mother to come to Canada, so that Obediah can retain his ties with his grandmother, who otherwise will be living alone.

Sia would also like her mom to be able to bond with her and Albert’s children – Emmah, 2, and Anthony, eight months.

The Mackotys have been supported in their endeavour by Highland Community and Trinity Christian Reformed churches, which have fundraised for their travel and legal costs.