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Shutdown Prevents Wis. Couple From Bringing Baby Home

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Jessica and Craig Porter of Somerset, Wis. have their newly adopted baby’s room all ready, but the shutdown is forcing their new son to sleep in a playpen across the river in Minnesota.

The family is stuck at a hotel until lawmakers strike a budget deal and the state shutdown passes.

“We’re just so happy to be with him. We’ll probably go through anything to bring him home,” said Jessica Porter.

Her baby boy, Ezra, is only 5 days old. He and his parents are living in a Stillwater hotel room, because they can’t go home to Wisconsin until his adoption paperwork is done. They went through HOPE Adoption and Family Services Int’l, Inc. in Oak Park Heights, Minn. for their adoption, but With Minnesota’s government shutdown, papers don’t get signed off and sent to Wisconsin for approval.

The family doesn’t know how long they’ll live in the hotel room. They’re living out of suitcases, and baby stuff is stashed wherever it will fit.

“We have his temporary crib/changing table,” Jessica Porter said, as she pointed to the hotel room desk. “All being together in the close confines of this room. Little tight, needless to say.”

She and her husband said being new parents is all they could have imagined, but it’s also turning out to be so much more. They weren’t prepared for a state shutdown, they said.

“Everybody gets to come home from the hospital and go about life and make their plans, and we’re just more limited,” Craig Porter said.

There’s not a convenient dishwasher to rinse Ezra’s baby bottles, so they do it in the bathroom. It’s not what she ever imagined her first days of motherhood would be like.

Jessica is dreaming about feeding her son in the middle of the night on the couch while Craig sleeps in the other room. She has plans for taking Ezra to church and enjoying time with family.

It’s these newborn moments that these new parents don’t know when they’ll get to experience.

They said they’ve waited seven years to welcome a child into their arms, but know they’ll have to wait longer to bring him where he belongs — home.

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