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Help Us to the Finish Line - Getting Us All Home!
$1,820 Raised
36% of $5k goal
13 contributors
3 Years running
We blindly embarked on a journey to adoption that ended up being MUCH more costly than anticipated, but we're on the home stretch now! With your help we've passed all major hurtles, except getting home... More ...
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I'm an American school teacher with a Thai husband and 2 biological daughters. We're an adventurous family who have lived all over, and we'd long wanted both the chance to live in Africa and another child (hopefully a boy). After much trying I thought an African teaching job may never be offered and meanwhile we tried to conceive a boy and had a couple early miscarriages. Then one day we were happy to learn I'd been offered a job teaching in Uganda! So we also started looking into adoption at this time. To our happy surprise we found out that if you lived in Uganda (unlike the "International Adoption Agency" websites would have you believe) privately adopting would be an affordable thing to do, even for us. It was only much later that we realized because the entire process is complicated, ever-changing, & relatively new there is not much info out there on it...which meant that what we knew about the costs were only the bare bones, NOT including all the extras (which added up to hundreds and thousands of dollars). Anyway, once in Uganda we blindly jumped in and started pursuing fostering a totally orphaned 2-year-old boy. He was extremely timid and inactive the first few times we met him. Nine months later he was living with us and we came to find out he had malaria, kwashiorkor (protein-deficiency bloated belly), jiggers living in his toes, no immunizations, brown teeth with bleeding gums, and a major infestation of intestinal worms. We treated him medically, enrolled him in school, bought him needed things like food, clothes and toys, and of course gave him lots of love. He has since blossomed into a very healthy, active, smart, curious, talented, happy, playful, loving little boy!

Initially we'd learned that by privately adopting (not using an agency) in Uganda, we could foster for 3 years, then apply for adoption through the Ugandan courts and be done, all for very little money. We thought, “3 years in Uganda will be no problem.” But then after living in Uganda for almost a year and not even "officially" fostering yet - we didn't go to court until 3 months after taking him in, which was an entire YEAR since starting the process of finding him - we realized that in Uganda things (especially bureaucratic/legal/government types of things) move EXTREMELY slowly. And also considering that the timing of when we could move would also have to work around my school-year schedule, we realized that realistically "3 years" in Uganda would more likely be like 5 or even 6 years. Furthermore we were already accumulating debt (even by that short time in the country) which is even much bigger now, and this is despite the fact that we came here with savings and we live as frugally as we can. (The cost of living here is surprisingly even higher than in the states, yet I took a huge pay cut to come here - but the full realization of this didn't really hit us for until about 6 months of living here.) But despite this, we of course couldn’t conceive of just giving Hanuman (our Thai nickname for George) back to the orphanage, but there was another route to adoption that was much quicker, but costed a lot more up front (but it still costs very little compared to the tens of thousands needed for an adoption completely organized through an "International Adoption Agency"). So we got thinking that maybe we should rethink our plan because this “cheap” route we had chosen to adoption would probably end up being the more expensive one in the long-run, being how quickly we were getting into debt. And it turned out it was a VERY good thing I started looking into this when I did because we discovered that a new US law will be passed this summer outlawing all privately done adoptions, meaning there would be ABSOLUTELY no possible way for us to afford adoption after that! So we realized we had no choice but to go this quicker, but spendier route to adoption. It required us to get past 3 major & spendy hurtles - a homestudy done by a US adoption agency (yes, we had to fly them here), getting approval as parents by the US government, and going to the Ugandan High Court and getting granted Legal Guardianship (official "adoption" can be done rather simply in the US afterwards). All of these hurdles were VERY costly, and thanks to your help we made it to this point!

So, here we are - we have FINALLY passed the last hurdle and have gone to court (at times we felt we'd NEVER see the day when that actually happened!!!) and have now been made Hanuman's official Lega Guardians, approved to migrate to the US with him!! So we are on the home stretch now!! We just need to get the approval papers, get Hanuman a Ugandan passport, & then a US visa! Now this is why we need your help this one last time - we've quite seriously run my mom dry with all the help she's given us with this whole process! If it wasn't for her, we probably would have had to seriously give Hanuman back to the orphanage, even after bonding with him as our son! But recently we've had to pay our adoption lawyer big BIG bucks (still not done paying), and about 5 times already -for legal purposes- we've had to pay for 5 of Hanuman's relatives to be transported in from their village & hosted at our home during their stay & transported back out. Also we just realized our daughters' student visas have to be renewed ($200+), we've recently had major car troubles that needed immediate repair ($300+), I'm reinstating my Oregon teaching license ($200+), and the upcoming US visa will be several hundred dollars. We've even had to delay re-enrolling Hanuman in a local Ugandan school for his 3rd term because we just can't afford it AND...we need to buy plane tickets to get us all home soon!! We're moving back to the states as soon as school lets out in June, where at least we can afford to take care of ourselves. If you can spare even $20-50 it'll get us that much closer to getting home - THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR WHATEVER HELP YOU CAN OFFER!!!

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