Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jonas in the News...

Family struggles to adopt Haitian boy

Adoption paperwork likely buried under rubble

Updated: Monday, 01 Feb 2010, 8:17 PM EST
Published : Monday, 01 Feb 2010, 5:05 PM EST

It's been almost two years since Ryan and Rebekah Hubley began the process of adopting a four-year-old boy from Haiti. The earthquake's made the long, and difficult process even harder since most of their adoption paperwork is now buried under rubble.

"We love him, he's our son now, so just like when you birth your own children, you don't know what's going to happen," Rebekah told NewsChannel 15.

Rebekah first began thinking about adoption in 2007. By August, she and her husband had started the process withBethany Christian Services . She found a little Haitian boy named Jonas on the organization's website and knew he was the one.

Jonas had been abandoned as an infant, and was visually impaired.

"I thought who else was going to want to adopt him, because that would be a scary thing," explained Rebekah.

It didn't scare Rebekah, who already has a biological daughter who is blind. One of her sons is also special needs.

Jonas was able to travel to Fort Wayne on a medical visa in August 2008, while the family continued the process of adopting him. Once here, they learned that he is also cognitively impaired as a result of his visual impairments. His condition has affected his speech, and mobility.

The family had yet to finalize Jonas's adoption when the earthquake hit last month. Rebekah tells NewsChannel 15 she's since learned all the adoption paperwork is gone.

"At this point, we don't know how the finalization of the process is going to work, cause the adoptions are not technically finalized yet," said Barb Hartsell, an adoption specialist with Bethany Christian Services.

It's frustrating for the Hubleys, but unlike some other couples adopting from Haiti, they are lucky enough to already have Jonas at home with them.

Adopting a child from Haiti can take up to three years, and cost about $20,000 thousand dollars.

As a result of the quake, the Hubleys believe that they will have to complete the adoption process domestically.

After meeting Jonas, Rebekah founded a non-profit called "Hands that Heal" , which helps other Haitians in need of medical resources.

She says her family isn't done adopting. They are also currently in the process of adopting a nine-year-old girl from China.

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