The Beginnings of our Adoption Journey
Ever since our marriage in 2007, we have considered adopting children, especially since we both grew up in close-knit families with strong Christian values of caring for those in need. We knew that if God were to open the door for adoption, this would be an opportunity to give a child in need a loving, life-long family.
We were naturally drawn to international adoption since we have had so many cross-cultural experiences through our extensive travel and living abroad. We also had no doubt that a child adopted internationally would be loved and welcomed into our extended family, most of which come from mixed cultures.
When we spent two years helping to develop a university in Northern Iraq, we began to understand in a fuller way the plight of orphans in need of a permanent family. We were able to connect with groups working with street children, and we got to know Iraqi children that had been impacted by the war. Once back in the States, we began to look at international adoption. Yet we experienced delays as we worked through the major transitions of an out-of-state move from Ohio to a new home and new jobs in Minnesota.
During this time, doors opened and closed, and eventually, Serbia was suggested as a good match given our backgrounds and experience. Jonathan regularly teaches the history of this region, and is familiar with the local cultures. Moreover, here was a country that has had a history of recent war, civil turmoil, and intense conflict between cultures and religions; here also was a people group that had experienced much persecution and hardship in the 20th century.
Once finally settled in Minnesota, we took up the journey. We sent our letter of introduction to the Serbian Authority and waited. On September 24th, Jonathan’s birthday, we received a referral, and after much prayer and consideration, we accepted. We are thankful to have been matched with two sibling boys, both of whom need a permanent, loving home. The boys have bonded well, living with the same foster family, and are in good health.
Although the Serbian Authority had some time ago listed these boys for domestic adoption, no family came forward to adopt them in their own country. After waiting a year, the authorities asked us to consider adopting these boys. Of course, if you are familiar with international adoption, accepting the referral is just the beginning. We have spent several months gathering dozens of personal documents and have now submitted our dossier for review by the Serbian Authority.
We now await our official papers to be invited to Serbia to work through the formal process of adoption. We anticipate traveling in the fall to meet these two boys, ages 6 and 9. The older boy enjoys swimming classes and going on walks, and the younger b, loves to play with his big brother and learn new things. We will immerse ourselves in their world for 23 days, and if all sides agree on the match, we will bring them to their new home in the United States.
There are, however, a few more steps to take and financial hurdles to cross in preparation for this adoption. First, we are blessed in that over half of our needed funds have been met, thanks to grants, a benefit concert, and our personal funds. We are truly grateful!
But now that we have been matched with specific children, we are nearing the end of the adoption process. We have about $10,000 in costs still remaining, which will cover fees for travel (for four), international services, in-country costs, post-adoption, and, for the boys, medical exams, visas, and U.S. citizenship.
As we are nearing the end of this long journey, we would like to invite family and friends to partner with us in raising this last amount. If you would like to be a part of bringing these boys home, we would be thrilled and grateful! Here’s how you can help:
PRAY …Ask God to prepare these two boys for all the changes ahead for them
…Ask God to prepare us for being the kind of parents these children need
…Many of you have expressed interest in providing funds for us to adopt, so now, here is your opportunity (see details below). Any amount you contribute is deeply appreciated.
…If for any reason your gifts are not needed for our adoption, 100% of your donated funds to Lifesong will go towards adoption costs for another child in need of adoption.
To donate by check, make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, write “Loopstra #6839” to assure it goes to the correct account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744. Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U. S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
To donate online, click the red DONATE button above. NOTE: Your donation is processed by STRIPE with a 2.2% + $.30 (3.5% for AMEX) per transaction fee. 100% of the donation received by Lifesong will go directly to the adoption.
■ NOTE: In accordance with IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit
organization, Lifesong. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
■ Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totalling $250 or more will
receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent
upon request. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.