JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - There are joys but also trials when it comes to new parenthood. A really big trial when daddy misses the birth.
"It's not too bad until I see a picture of her. But when I see a picture, bring on the water works," said Justin Carroll.
That problem's even bigger one when he's stuck more than seven thousand miles away with baby Carson's new brothers.
"That was a really hard day for me to say goodbye. I mean, it was great because I knew he was going to get our sons. But him going to get our sons, I knew he would miss our daughter's birth," said Alana Carroll.
Justin and Alana Carroll first saw pictures of three year old Canaan and two year old Neema a year ago. They quickly fell in love, making plans to adopt them from the Congo.
"We've been fighting for them and getting their paperwork and adoption ready," said Alana.
When they got the call to come pick up their boys, Alana was too pregnant to leave. Justin and his dad hopped a plane, planning to bring the couple's new sons home in time for Christmas. Now six weeks later, their presents sit unopened.
"All we need is a signature for them to leave, and he refuses to give it even though he said we were on the list, we could get out if we had all of our paperwork, and we do. So that's where we're at," said Alana.
The couple's paperwork's complete and the fees are paid, but now the Congolese government refuses the signature needed to bring the boys home.
"It's expensive. We're running out of money. I mean, my husband's there and he's not working. I'm not working, and he's not met his daughter yet," said Alana.
And they're not alone. Four other families wait alongside them, now speaking out in hopes of progress.
"Contact our representatives and congress just to see if they'll press the embassy, because they can. I mean, they're there. They can fight for us. They represent the United States, and there's United States citizens there," said Alana.
For now they do their best to stay connected and hopeful to unite their family of five under one roof as soon as possible.
The Carrolls reached out to us to raise awareness now asking the community to petition local lawmakers to put pressure on the state department.
Local 8 News reached out to Senator Bob Corker's office. A representative said the office is aware of the problem and taking steps to help.
Learn more through the links below.