Non-profit helps international adoptions


Rob and Debbie Jolley have already made room in their family and in their hearts for Vevgeniya.

"Just now we asked her if she'd come to Utah with us for 2-3 days to meet the rest of our family," said Debbie Jolley, an adoptive mother. "So maybe she can consider us an adoptive family."

Right now, the 12-year-old lives in an orphanage in the Ukraine. She and nine other orphans are in the Bay Area for two weeks. They're learning English words, the culture, but most of all they're looking for someone to adopt them. That's where David Avilla comes in.

"80 percent of the kids that come over find a family that adopts them eventually," said David Avilla, an Advocate for Orphans International.

He runs Advocate for Orphans International. The group brings a dozen Ukrainian children, ages six to 12, to the U.S. for two weeks. And they set up events where families can meet the kids in casual, group settings.

Earlier in the week, some parents went swimming with the children in Fremont. Very different from standard international adoptions, where all of the early interactions take place in another country.

"Just the amount of energy it takes to process the language, the sights, the smells, the sounds, everything. Here, that's not an issue, they can focus on the child," said Avilla.

Which is why the Jolley Family keeps coming back. They adopted two other boys from Russia through this program.

However, international adoptions are becoming more complicated. It now takes 12-16 months and costs about $35,000. This group say the economy is also impacting their efforts. More people are saying this is something they simply can't afford right now.

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