Help us adopt Kailane

For: Kailane Santos
Redding, CA
Organizer: Taiala and Sonji Drakos
of $6,000 goal.
Raised by 51 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Hello everyone,

My name is Taiala Drakos. I'm from Salvador, Brazil. My husband Sonji and I have been married for five years. After living in Brazil during our first year of marriage we moved to the United States. Sonji is in his third year as an elementary Montessori teacher and we have a beautiful son, Daví who is almost 1 1/2 years old. For the past 2 years we have been working to adopt our 7-year-old niece, Kailane, a child who is very dear to us and is in great need. We can provide her with the attention, guidance and excellent education that her biological parents are not able to give her. International adoption is a very expensive, slow, tedious undertaking and we have dedicated ourselves completely to following it through no matter what it takes.

Kailane was born to my brother and her mother when they were very young. I was living in my family home at the time, so I assumed a big part of the care for her since her birth and we developed a close bond.

When Sonji came into the family they became very close as well. Her grandparents and her parents love her and do all they can for her but my brother now has 2 more children and they just can't provide her with a good education or give her the attention she needs to reach her great potential. The local school she attends in the city where she lives is of poor quality and can't come close to providing a stimulating learning environment for this exceptionally bright and talented little girl. If we could adopt Kailane she would be able to attend the Montessori school where Sonji teaches.

My brother and her mother have been in full agreement with the idea of us adopting her and bringing her to live with us here in the United States. We are fortunate to have a wonderful adoption lawyer from Brazil who specializes in Brazilian adoptions, guiding us through this complicated process. We have made it to the final stages but it has taken a severe financial toll on our family and so we are now asking for your help. The whole process will end up costing us over $30,000. The fees to be paid to the adoption agency alone are $20,000. We borrowed the first payment of $11,000 to keep things moving and are struggling to keep up with the monthly payments. We knew from the start that this would place a great financial burden on us but we decided that being able to adopt Kailane and give her a better life is far more important. We will have to pay the other $9,000 to complete the adoption and we can't borrow any more. Our goal is to raise $20,000, which will pay off everything. She is at the age now when it will still be relatively easy for her to learn English and adapt to a completely new culture, but the longer we wait the more difficult it will be for her to make this big transition. Every time we call her or visit, she always asks the same question: “When will I be able to come live with you?” We tell her we're doing everything we can, but still can't give her anything concrete.

If you are able to help it would mean so much to Kailane and our growing family. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. If you are not able to contribute, please share this with as many folks as you can

It would mean everything to us and to her to be able to share our lives together as a family. We thank you with all our heart.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 18, 2016

Posted on December 18, 2016

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support we have received over the last couple days. Your kind words and generosity fill us with gratitude and inspiration.

A few months ago the children in my class created posters of quotes about children, many of them from the writings of Dr. Maria Montessori. One in particular, which hangs in the hallway right outside my classroom, always makes me think of Kailane --

"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him (her) into the world."

If you've read about the adoption you know about the extreme poverty in the suburb of Salvador, Brazil where Kailane lives, but perhaps we haven't thoroughly conveyed the immediate danger that she's in. Over the past year and a half or so, with the Brazilian economy in the midst of a recession, the neighborhood where she lives has become increasingly more violent and abusive. Much of this violence/abuse is directed toward women and girls. Without getting into specifics, she has had to deal with the threat of sexual predators in her neighborhood that the local police refuse to deal with. We'd like you to know that this isn't only about us wanting to adopt Kailane because of how much we love her and want to give her a better life. That is truth.... but what is crucial right now is that she is living in an environment in which the majority of young women become caught up in a violent, repressive cycle of poverty and hopelessness. She needs your help now....anything....if all you can afford to give is $5 then please give $5. I ain't too proud to beg when it comes to children. Kailane💚❤

Posted on December 3, 2016

Posted on December 3, 2016

This morning we passed the $1,000 mark! If everyone chips in a little we can reach our goal before the new year! Please share as much as you can. More shares = more donations. We're currently only waiting on the judge in Brazil to give the final okay (could be any day) but we won't be able to bring Kailane home with us until we have the final payment. If everyone pitches in as much as they're able she could be here with us in the next few months.

Posted on November 30, 2016

Posted on November 30, 2016

These photos were taken this past summer when we traveled to Brazil to visit Taiala's family. It had been two years since we had last seen Kailane and she was overwhelmed with joy for our arrival and getting to meet her new cousin Daví. They got to know each other very well over the weeks we spent together and Kailane is even more excited than ever now about coming to live with us as the newest addition to our growing family. 

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