March 2020 Update

First and foremost, we hope you are safe and healthy. In these trying times, we are particularly grateful for everyone who is standing with us in our commitment to the children and families Gift of Adoption serves.

Imagine pouring a year or more into saving for the adoption of your child, completing all the paperwork and meetings for your home study, gathering references, asking friends and family to support you on your journey, then having a pandemic threaten your ability to bring your child home.

This is what Bryan and Kathy Lankford faced as they navigated new restrictions on international travel that delayed their teenaged boys from coming home. The urgency they faced was tangible, as this adoption needed to be completed before the boys aged out of the orphanage to face the rest of their lives without the safety net and love of a family. They had a number of starts and stops, flight cancellations, reroutings—taking one leg at a time on their journey from Bulgaria to Dallas not knowing if, when or where the next leg would take them as borders were closing. They finally landed home in Dallas on March 5, two months later than expected, and the family is using the required quarantine period to bond.

 

Mario and Robert on their way home

Jillian of San Diego touched down in South Africa to complete the adoption of her daughter mere hours before the country sealed its borders. After several whirlwind days in-country, Jillian discovered that because South African courts and government offices are closed, she won’t be able to complete her daughter’s adoption any time soon. Jillian is currently working with the American Embassy in South Africa to arrange travel out of the country. The Gift of Adoption team is monitoring her travel arrangements and the status of her adoption, prepared to provide additional help if needed.

While international adoptions have all stalled, even domestic adoptions are experiencing flight cancellations and fears of spreading the virus which are creating additional hurdles and adding to the expense and anxiety of the final steps of the adoption journey. It is not hard to see how the economic fallout is impacting and will continue to impact the small business owners, contract workers, salespeople, pastors, manufacturing employees, etc. who are saving, sacrificing and doing all they can to fulfill promises they have made in their hearts and in the eyes of their waiting children.

One thing the pandemic has not changed is the fact that there are too many children who still need homes and families. Applications for adoption assistance are up 53% over last year–about 70 qualified applications each month–of which Gift of Adoption can provide the adoption assistance which unites roughly 42 of the most vulnerable children each month with their forever families.

Thanks to your support and to our volunteers in chapters across the country, Gift of Adoption is able to stand by the children and families we serve. We are working creatively with our volunteers, our National Board, and the foundations who have provided consistent support to fill the financial gap that comes from having the many fundraising events planned for March through June at risk.

We will continue to share the stories of the families made possible by your generosity to provide a bit of hope and sunshine during these uncertain times. Thank you again for standing by Gift of Adoption.