February 22, 2001
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith offers his congratulations to the Oppong family as they celebrate their long-awaited reunion with sons, Samuel Jr. A reception will be held at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 25, 2001 at 12:00 p.m..
When Samuel Jr. Oppong was one year old, he came down with malaria two days before he was to leave with his parents for the United States. He did not recover until ten days after his visa expired. His parents, Samuel and Irene, have been desperately trying to ensure the arrival of Samuel Jr. to the United States for over four years.
Finally, after an exhaustive process and with the assistance of a committee formed by Lake Burien Presbyterian Church coupled with the help from Congressman Adam Smith's office, Samuel Jr.arrived on January 31, 2001.
"I am very pleased to be a part of the process that allowed such a happy reunion," Smith said. "Although it has been a long procedure, I am encouraged by the community effort on behalf of the Oppongs by Lake Burien Presbyterian Church. The Church saw a problem and formed a committee to help the Oppong family follow the legal steps to bring their son home to them. The Church also moved to act to help other children on Ghana avoid malaria by making beds tents to send to Ghana. The congregation both recognized the broader issue that lay behind this family's separation and made a contribution to solving that problem. I applaud them for both support of the Oppong family and for their outreach to Ghana."
The reception will be help at 15003 - 14th Avenue SW in Burien.