KNOXVILLE (WATE) – An American couple in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States is in the process of adopting a child from the South American country of Guyana.
They expected the process to take several years, but suddenly it sped up.
Allen and Stephanie Harden were told it would take two to three years to adopt their child from Guyana, but now that time table has shrunk to three months.
That is why they are asking the community for help.
“This is a journal we have put together for Willow,” said Stephanie Baker-Harden. “We wanted to let her know all that we have had to do, so we put together pictures of the paperwork.”
The Hardens have already named their adoptive daughter Willow, even though they still do not know who she is.
They say even before they were married they knew they were going to adopt.
“I remember reading something about the children in the orphanage that would come up to people saying I want a mommy,” said Baker-Harden. “I want a daddy, and that broke my heart.”
In August, they discovered that adoptions had just opened up in the Guyana.
They felt drawn to help a child from there.
“Mainly because when we read about it our hearts kind of broke,” said Allen Harden. “They are so poor. They are the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.”
The total cost of adopting a child from Guyana is $20,000 plus travel expenses, which is another $5,000 to $6,000.
After being told it would take several years, the Hardens knew they could afford it, but then, the process sped up.
They had only three months to raise the first large installment of $9,000, which is due right after Christmas, and they knew they could not do it on their own.
“Initially, we freaked out a little bit,” said Harden.
They say if they can not get the payments on time the adoption may be delayed, so to keep the process on track they have started to have fundraisers.
These fundraisers include selling shirts.
They have also started a website to take online donations.
Along with raising money online and holding those fundraisers, this family has also put a sign on their mini-van with their website on it.
“I would be very grateful because this is something we didn’t known would happen so fast,” said Baker-Harden, “Would cost so much money, and we want it so much.”
“It’s our little girl,” said Harden. “It’s amazing how much you can love somebody you haven’t met. We appreciate all the help we have gotten so far and any help we will get in the future. We are just terribly appreciative of.”
The Harden have already spent $6,000 on this adoption.
So far they have raised $2,300 for the next installment of $9,000.
The Hardens says if they are able to raise money they should have their little girl by this summer.