13 Years ago, we met in St. Petersburg, Florida and got married two years later. Shortly after we met, Josh got a job offer in Savannah, GA. Since then we have been inseparable and each other’s rock through our journey together. While we wanted to start a family, conceiving a child was difficult for us. We tried one last time and were overjoyed by the news that we were having a son.
Jonathan Joshua Thomas came into this world as our "Miracle Baby". During his short two and one half years, he lived up to that description in many ways. He was a beautiful baby boy with an infectious smile that would light up any space. One could immediately tell he was gifted with charisma and intelligence and was a gentle and loving soul. His smile, his beautiful voice and zest for life brought us so much joy! He made our hearts swell and sing with pride and love. It was pure, it was good, and it was wonderful!
November 25, 2014 is the day our perfect little world fell apart. When Jonathan woke that morning, he was not his typical, happy, playful self and it was clear he wasn’t feeling well. Fearing it was the flu, his pediatrician was able to see Jonathan first thing, but we would soon find out it was much worse. Jonathan was admitted to the Memorial Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and diagnosed with Infantile Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We didn’t know it at the time, but his doctors didn’t expect him to make it through the night. Our worst nightmare had come true; our 7 month old baby was diagnosed with cancer. There are no words to describe what we felt. It was Jonathan’s smile and love of life that helped give both of us the strength to fight with him.
Jonathan’s treatment plan was two years of intense chemotherapy. Althought he responded well to the treatments and was in remission January 2015, he still needed to complete the full two-year treatment. During this time, Jonathan was in and out of the hospital, getting the more intense treatment in the hospital and the less intense “maintenance” at the clinic or home. We made the best of the times when Jonathan felt his best. On these days, Jonathan loved playing with other kids and would run around the park with them until he couldn’t go any more. He also loved playing in his sandbox, going to the beach (more sand!), reading books, learning (he was very curious and loved the learning games on his iPad), watching Mickey Mouse (his iPad helped pass time while he was in the hospital), playing basketball, just running around having a good time. There was even a brief period of time when he was able to go back to day care.
Despite Jonathan looking great and appearing to feel great, he relapsed in September 2016 with only two months of treatment remaining. Since his cancer returned, he would need even more intense chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Within a month a donor was identified, the fastest his doctors had ever seen, and the process was scheduled as soon as he was able to recover from his most recent round of treatment. Unfortunately, that last round had taken its toll and recovery was slow. With his immune system severely compromised by his treatment, he was unable to fight off an infection despite help from antibiotics. Jonathan Joshua Thomas passed away on November 17, 2016.
He did amazing and great things in his two and one half years, touching so many lives in such a positive way. As "Savannah's leukemia survivor boy of the year in May 2016", Jonathan was and continues to be an inspiration, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for leukemia.
We are ready to be parents again…
While he touched so many lives in such a positive way and brought people across the country together, his greatest impact was on Josh and me. Our love for him is immeasurable. He inspired us to be better people and taught us to live life to the fullest. We miss him dearly and his memory continues to shape our lives. The almost two years since we lost him have been the most difficult and trying of our lives, but we are healing and are ready to extend our family again.
After a lot of research, talking with doctors and discussion between the two us, Josh and I decided that adoption was our best route. Not only do we get another child, but we also get the chance to provide a good life to a child who might not have had one otherwise. We are very excited about the prospect of our new addition and have already started the process.
How you can help…
Through research and discussion with various agencies, we have found out that the current average cost of an adoption is approximately $44,000 to $50,000+. This includes initial fees of approximately $5,000! These fees go towards a Home Study, application and activation fees, and a video profile. The Home Study is a written evaluation of our suitability to become adoptive parents; this includes verifying our personal information, criminal clearances, employment verification, reference letters, physician’s report and gathering other various background related information. After the Home Study is complete, our profile is ready to be shown to birth mothers, a marketing fee of approximately $11,000 is due. This is a one-time fee that will remain in effect until we have successfully adopted a child and will be used by a firm to help match us with a birth mother. The remaining funds are for after we are selected by a birth mother. The money covers living and medical expenses for the birth mother, legal fees and any other fees associated with an adoption.
While we are very excited about adopting, we were surprised to find out domestic adoption can be over $50,000. Since Jonathan’s passing, many of our friends and family have asked us what they can do to help. So, with that in mind, we humbly have decided to put together a "Go Fund Me" page asking for donations to help us raise the funds required to adopt.
The prospect of growing the Thomas' family fills us with a happiness that we have not had in a long time. We would be honored, humbled, and overjoyed to accept any gift you may consider for us.. With Love, Amy and Josh.
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