On Monday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with a recently reunited Edina family that spent nearly a decade working toward adopting three girls from Guatemala and bringing them to Minnesota.
This past weekend, Suann Hibbs finally brought her three adopted daughters -- named Savanna, Sophia and Sydney -- home after more than 7 years of jumping through bureaucratic hurdles with the help of Klobuchar.
"Seven years and eight months," Hibbs tallied. "It still is surreal, and I feel like now, I am living my dream."
Hibbs first tried to adopt the sisters in 2006, when twins Sophia and Savanna were just 11 months old and their younger sister had just been born; however, the Guatemalan government put the adoption on hold after discovering that a baby broker had falsified the girls' birth certificates before the country stopped international adoptions altogether.
"It's an indescribable rollercoaster," Hibbs recalled. "There were times the girls were missing. We had to hire a private investigator. They were in five orphanages, but to be completely abandoned by people you trusted that were supposed to be helping with this adoption -- in my opinion it feels so unfair that this should happen to these little girls."
Recently, Klobuchar met with the Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States to encourage him to put a priority on finalizing international adoptions for American families, including Hibbs. Klobuchar also headed a letter to the Guatemalan solicitor general to complete the Hibbs adoption.
At 2 p.m., Klobuchar got her first chance to meet with the family, and Fox 9 cameras were there.
Like most little girls, the three sisters love playing on their miniature merry-go-round -- but the spins they take are nothing compared to the run-around their new mother endured to bring them to Minnesota.
"It is an example of when parents get caught up in bureaucratic red tape -- whether it's in our country or internationally," Klobuchar said. "I was honored to help."