One local family is expecting a new addition to their family sometime in 2014. Why the long wait?
"We are currently in the middle of an international adoption," said Rev. John Banks. Banks, along with his wife, Abby, and four children, 10-year-old Adam, nine-year-old Noah, seven-year-old Jonah and five-year-old Seth, are excited to move forward with their adoption story.
The Banks' began talking about expanding their growing family about four years ago.
"We started talking about adoption around four years ago," she said. "There is a huge need to adopt, so we decided to adopt number five."
They began by researching all types of adoptions, both international and domestic. After discussing their needs with an adoption agency, they were pulled toward an international adoption. "Once we started looking at the requirements and our family's needs," she said an international adoption was the best fit. That fit was a little girl from Ethiopia.
"We are looking to adopt a girl between the ages of zero and four," she said. "We wanted to adopt while they are still young so they can grow up together," added John.
To begin the adoption process, the Banks' had to submit "around 35 documents" to Ethiopia after they were sealed by the state. Those documents will be reviewed by the agency in Ethiopia. "We started the process nine or 10 months ago," she said.
Once those documents are processed, a child will be chosen that fits the needs of the Banks family.
"We don't know who we are going to be matched with yet," she said. After the match is chosen, the couple will fly to Ethiopia to meet their new daughter and formally adopt her in her native country. "Once we formally adopt her in Ethiopia," she said, "there is a waiting period for it to become permanent." When that period expires, they will make the trip to Ethiopia once more and bring her back to the states.
While they don't know when they will hear back from the agency regarding a match, they are still incurring the fees of an adoption. "We have paid about half of our total fees," John said. The grand total of fees for adopting internationally is "about $30,000 to $34,000," he said.
Page 2 of 2 - To help raise money to cover some of the cost, they have applied for grants and have started a blog at www.4onemore.weebly.com. There is a PayPal donation button located on the site, which takes any tax-deductible donation and delivers it directly to their adoption agency.
They are also holding a rummage sale at the Tabernacle Bible Church, 455 Grove Street in Honesdale, to help raise funds.
The sale will take place Friday, May 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations for the sale are still being accepted.
The Banks family also said they encourage other families to find out more about adoption or being a foster home.
To follow their adoption story, visit www.4onemore.weebly.com.