Coronavirus outbreak brings adoption process to standstill for Byron mom

Talia Milavetz
Created: January 28, 2020 06:37 PM

(ABC 6 News) --  Chinese officials say more than 100 people have now died from the spread of coronavirus. There is a new warning from the State Department urging Americans to reconsider traveling to all of China as this emergency grows. 

The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China. That’s where a local mom was heading next month, to adopt her second son.


Three and a half years ago, Tamara Lawson made her Byron house a home when she and her husband adopted toddler Liam from Beijing. 

"We saw how much love and how much joy it brought to our family. We just really thought another child would complete our family,” she said.

Last December, she started an application process for another boy. She was hoping to adopt five-year-old Noah from an orphanage in Wuhan.

"We don't know a whole lot about his history, we know that he's very social and he likes to play with cars and trucks and balls,” she said.

The entire family was planning to pick up Noah in Wuhan this February.

But last month, Wuhan became the center of the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese officials say more than 100 people have died and 4,500 have been sickened. 

"We just found out in the middle of last week that the province was closed and they were putting a hold on all of the adoptions. Now everything is just back to waiting,” she said.

While she waits across the world for her son, she can’t help but worry about the virus spreading to the orphanage. 

"I feel like they're doing everything they can but of course as his mother I'm going to worry about it. He should be here with me and I should be taking care of him, but there's nothing we can do about it right now,” she said. 

There’s no telling when she’ll be able to see him.

"The end was just right there and then it was just gone,” she said.

Though she’s heartbroken, she is prepared to wait as long as she needs to, in order to meet Noah and bring him home. 

Lawson spoke to officials from her adoption agency Monday night. She said they told her that coronavirus has not gotten into the orphanage and that they are limiting staff and visitors to prevent the spread of the disease. 

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