Actions show values of elected officials

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

With election time fast approaching, the usual mud slinging in debates has returned. I have thought and heard it often said, that it makes it difficult to really know what a candidate stands for. Too much time is devoted to running down the opponent, and not enough talking about how they themselves feel about the issues. From personal experience I would like to relate how one candidate for re-election feels and reacts to his constituents' needs.

In 2005, my family traveled overseas to adopt two little boys. To keep the story short, we ran into serious paperwork issues with the U.S. Consulate, and our U.S. Consulate in that country was not able or willing to help us. We were advised to return to the U.S., take the 30 days necessary to correct the paperwork issue and return for the children. The problem was they were already legally our children and in our custody. The overseas court had already awarded them to us. We had NO one to leave them with, and our visas were expiring in only a few days. We were desperate.

I was determined I would not abandon the children, but not leaving on time could result in our expulsion or even imprisonment. After much prayer, we began to call our senators and representatives, and e-mailed and called everyone we knew to do the same.

Within hours we received a call from Senator Jim Talent's office asking what they could do to help us. We even received a call from Congressman Kingston, of Georgia, who had been contacted by a friend of a friend. Through their efforts, this issue that we had been told would take 30 days was resolved within 24 hours.

As a result, two little boys have a new family, a new life, and for the first time, hope. We never heard from our other senators or representatives, other than Dear John letters informing us that they wished us the best, and thanking us for contacting them.

Upon our return, we sent many thanks to Senator Talent's and Congressman Kingston's offices. They told us they were very glad to have been of help, and they were always under instructions to help American families at all times in such cases of government red tape.

I think their actions speak volumes concerning these two men's values and commitments. I hope individuals will remember such actions in office as they vote, and not just the mud-slinging of political debates.


Blake Whitley

Cassville, Missouri