We're raising money to adopt a wonderful 11 month old boy named, Aaron. We developed a relationship with Aaron's birth-mother through a Christian ministry that provides temporary, full time, care of children to struggling parents. After several months of weighing her options, (and nearly 3 months of him being in our temporary care) Aaron's birth-mom has asked us to be his adoptive family. This request was sudden, and we don't have time to save up the cost of adoption. The state isn't providing any compensation because Aaron is not a foster child. This is a private adoption. Based on initial evaluations from a trusted adoption attorney in our area, our aim is to raise $15,000.
Who We Are:
We are Nicolas (age 33) and Kimberly (age 31) Stotzer. We are originally from Los Angeles, CA, have been married for 8 years and until now, have had no children of our own. We are pastors vocationally, and for the past 2 years have lived and worked in the Kansas City area.
In 2012 a missionary and her son came to us for a time of ministry. As we sat there together, a lasting connection was made. One year later, when she wanted someone to come and pray over an infant that had just been taken in by the ministry she now worked for, she gave Nick and I a call. That's the day we met Aaron. It was an unusual case from the beginning. Our missionary friend, her Director, the police, and the Department of Family Services (DFS) all responded to the late night call from the pastors of Aaron's birth-mom. She was living in their home at the time. Although they had stood by her (and continue to stand by her) through various difficulties, that night it was determined, that what was best for Aaron was to put him in temporary placement with the ministry ( in cooperation with the DFS) and to monitor his birth-mom's progress. That decision was made last November.
In December we met Aaron's birth-mom for the first time, and Aaron for the second. It was a short meeting, but an impactful one. In January, the ministry found themselves in a tough situation. The family that had been caring for Aaron, could do it no longer; meanwhile, his birth-mom had not met the state's minimum requirements for maintaining custody. If our family didn't intervene, this then 7 month old infant would have to go into the system. He had lived in 5 homes already, and desperately needed some consistency and stability.
We knew since the previous November, that we may be called upon to receive this precious little one into our home. At the end of January 2014, Aaron was placed in our care, and he has lived in our home ever since. Every week for the past few months, we've met with his birth-mother, so that they could spend time together. Consequently, we've all come to know each other fairly well. So, when it was time for she and this wonderful ministry to part ways, Aaron's birth mom decided that it would be better for him to be adopted by a family she knows and trusts, than to be taken into the foster care system. She met with us face-to-face and, with tears in her eyes, asked us to adopt her son.
We cried. The witnesses cried. Everyone cried. It was a beautiful sacrifice on her part, and yet we all knew, that no one could understand how difficult. That meeting took place on April 17th. Since then we have had to educate ourselves, speak to attorneys, outline the costs, and are now raising the funds. Our heart's desire is to release her into the healing process, and Aaron into permanent stability, as soon as possible.
Our care of Aaron has kept him out of the Foster Care system. Because of that, his adoption is considered private. We must hire multiple adoption attorneys for ourselves, for the birth mother, for the birth father, and possibly, by the judge's determination, a separate attorney for Aaron himself. We are also required to privately pay state certified social workers, court fees, filing fees, and the cost of any other fees or personnel that may become necessary as the case proceeds. It's a minimum 6 month process, and our aim is raise $15,000 to cover the expenses. Based our consultation with a trusted and highly rated adoption attorney in our area, this amount should cover the entire adoption.
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