Family fights to keep child from being sent back to Iraq

Family fights to keep child from being sent back to Iraq
EVERETT, Wash. - An Iraqi boy who arrived in Washington state two years ago after getting shot by insurgents may have to go back to the place he considers his worst nightmare.

Hamoody Jauda likes trains and attention, just like any other 5-year-old. But he can't see his toys and he's not sure people are paying attention to him.

Jauda got caught in terrorist gunfire in Iraq and a bullet went through the side of his forehead, leaving him blind.

He doesn't remember it, but he knows what happened. After the incident, the organization Healing the Children brought him to the U.S. in order to receive treatment and to heal while living with a foster family in Snohomish.

And while Hammody often thinks about his own family, he still doesn't want to go back to Iraq. But he may have to.

Jauda's Visa expired last month, but his foster family is now working to save him from having to go back to Iraq - a process that could take six years. But neither Jauda, nor his American family, want to think of the alternative.

"Very difficult. I don't think of it even as a possibility," said foster parent Julie Robinett-Smith.

"I want to stay," said Jauda, "because I don't want to get hurt again."

The Smith family wants to adopt Jauda and says the boy's family in Iraq wish the same so that their son will be able to live in a safe world. And it wouldn't be a far stretch from the current situation. Jauda already calls Robinett-Smith "mom."

"He's become so Americanized, too," said Robinett-Smith. "He's a part of our family and he loves us. He does not remember his family. He hasn't seen his parents since he was 2."

The Smiths are now working with lawmakers in the hopes of getting a congressional act passed in order to allow Jauda to stay in the U.S.