The Kaiser family of Fuquay-Varina said it was laid upon their heart to adopt a child. They met Alex, a 10 year old special needs child from Eastern Europe, this summer and knew that she would be a perfect addition to their family. However, the adoption process is expensive and the family is working hard to raise the money needed to bring Alex home.
John Kaiser said there are millions of children who are looking for a family to call their own. Although he knew he could not adopt all the homeless children in the world, he said his family wanted to make a difference in the life of just one child.
“We know there is an orphan crisis in this world,” Kaiser said. “There are over 143 million orphans in this world. UNICEF estimates the number could even be above 200 million. Most of those children have at least one surviving parent, but their parents are lost in drug addiction, prostitution, alcoholism, or extreme poverty. As a result they live with grandparents, foster parents, or in the worst case they live in state run orphanages.”
He said his family decided to adopt a child from Eastern Europe.
“In Eastern Europe alone many, many thousands grow up in these orphanages. We know we can’t solve the orphan problem, but we also know we can make a big difference in the life of at least one child.”
The Kaiser family said they met Alex, the daughter they hope to adopt, through a California company called Angels’ Haven.
“They bring over orphans from Eastern European countries to spend 3-6 weeks with American families. During that time the families get to know the child(ren) they are hosting and if things work out well that family can pursue adoption.”
Kaiser said they were able to spend three weeks with Alex this summer and said the entire family is extremely excited about bringing their daughter home.
“We have a 7 year old daughter named Sasha and a 5 month old son named Aramis,” Kaiser said. “Sasha got to spend three weeks this summer playing with Alex and she is very excited about having an older sister.”
The Kaiser family said they decided to adopt an older special needs child because it is those children who have a harder time being adopted.
“When people think of adoption they tend to think of babies. And by-and-large most prospective adoptive parents have a preference for babies which is understandable. However, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of orphans in need of a stable, loving home are over 5 years old. In Eastern Europe the older children risk aging out of the system by the time they turn 16 and for those kids who age out their future is often bleak. About 10 percent commit suicide before their 18th birthday; within two years of leaving the only home they’ve ever known— the orphanage. In Eastern Europe about 60 percent of girls who age out of orphanages end up involved in prostitution; and a similar percentage of boys end up involved in criminal activity. And the older these children get the less likely they are to have a home. That applies doubly for children with special needs.”
Kaiser said Alex is HIV positive, but that did not stop his family from wanting to adopt her.
“Alex is HIV positive. That doesn’t make her any less deserving of a home or love. Her condition is manageable with medical treatment and she can live a long and healthy life provided she remain on medication. We also know, since I been through blood borne pathogens training during my time with the fire department, that HIV is very difficult to spread,” Kaiser said.
While the Kaiser family is excited to bring Alex home, the adoption process is not cheap.
“Adoption costs in Eastern Europe vary depending on country and agency,” Kaiser said. “They can be as low as $20,000 or as high as $40,000. Our agency places the cost of adoption at around $26,000 including fees, air travel, translations services, paperwork, etc.”
The Kaiser family is working hard to raise the money needed to bring Alex home.
“We have raised almost $9,000 in funds so far through our Youcaring.com page,” Kaiser said. “Youcaring is a website that helps people do online fundraising for adoption, medical bills, etc. We are planning several fundraisers. We are also planning a few more events for November and December. We have about $17,000 left to raise, but we are confident we can get there.”
For those interested in learning more about how they can help the Kaiser family, the family has created a website, www.helpbringalexhome.com.
“The website even has information on how people can give 100 percent tax deductible donations. Those donations should be written directly to our adoption agency Angels’ Haven and they will be earmarked exclusively for our family to cover the many costs included in a foreign adoption (be sure to write ‘Kaiser Family’s Adoption Costs’ in the memo),” Kaiser said.
The Kaiser family is hoping to bring Alex home for good early next year.
“We are hoping to fly over in January or February. From there the in-country portion of the adoption depends on how quickly the court system of her home country operates. The date is usually set for the final adoption court hearing sometime between 3-5 weeks later so one of us will likely have to spend about a month there.”
Kaiser said he is excited to bring his daughter home.
“So many of these children grow up forgotten and closed away in orphanages. We don’t want that to be the case for Alex. We can’t wait to have her back with our family.”