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Two sisters determined to keep their siblings promise despite immigration system

Posted: 7:16 PM, Feb 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-07 00:16:38Z

TAMPA — 16 years ago, seems like yesterday. Two sisters, June Bacaum and Patricia Lyew, are still dealing with searing pain, their brother David killed by robbers in Jamaica. 

It was a shock and still hard to imagine," said Lyew.

Like many families do, David made a request. He asked Patricia to please take care of his kids if anything happened to him.

"I said I made that promise and I have to stick to it," said Lyew.

After he died, Lyew immediately started the adoption process. 

"There's not many things that I have worked on for 16 years," said Lyew.

She never imagined the hurdles she would go through, especially out of Jamaica 

"It's been a long, tedious process," said Lyew.

She managed to get her nephew here three years ago but stricter immigration laws now in the U.S. have made it even tougher to adopt her niece.

"She was about to call it quits," said immigration attorney Jamila Little. 

Little stepped in. She said passionate pleas to the government can go a long way, it just takes a lot of paperwork and patience.

"Even though there are broken parts of our immigration system, they kept fighting. This just shows what determination and resilience, and really the bottom of it all what love can do," said Little.

Just in the past few days, the sisters learned their nieces petition has come through and by next month will hopefully call the U.S. home.

The sisters are now sharing their journey in hopes of helping others.

"I just never gave up, you only lose when you stop trying," said Lyew.

"He would be proud. He would be proud that we are together,: said Baucom