SANTAQUIN — The Jay and Arin Jones family hope to add five more daughters to their family by the end of the year. They submitted all of the paperwork for adoption authorities in Ukraine, and now they are waiting to receive word of their travel date within the next four weeks. Most expenses have been covered, but they still need about $13,000.
The Joneses hosted an orphan through New Horizons for Children, an international orphan hosting program based in Georgia, during the summer of 2012. They chose sisters Lyuba and Snezhana who had been living in a Ukrainian orphanage.
The girls stayed for five weeks, and by the end of the visit a lot of love had developed between the Jones family and the girls. The decision to adopt was made after the girls returned to the orphanage.
A third sister, Diana, lives in the orphanage and will also be adopted. The Joneses hope that two other sisters, discovered to be in another orphanage, will be able to come back with them as well.
When the Joneses first began the adoption process, it seemed that legal stipulations would not allow the two younger sisters to be adopted at the same time. However, new information indicated that the Joneses may be able to adopt all five girls at the same time. While the chances remain slim, the Joneses are determined to keep the sisters together.
"If we can't adopt the two younger sisters when we go over there (this time)," Arin Jones said, "we will still do everything we can to keep in contact with them. We will keep working towards adopting them in the future. We are committed to these girls, too."
The Joneses have been able to pay most of the adoption agency and paperwork expenses by working extra hours, saving and fundraising. But they still need to raise money to pay for the Ukraine trip and associated costs. Typically a Ukrainian adoption for one child costs about $25,000. The Joneses expect the adoption of the three children will be between $35,000 and $40,000.
The Jones' fundraising committee has planned a Valentine's Craft Fair at Peeteetneet Academy in Payson for Feb. 9 from 6-9 p.m. There will be more than 20 vendors selling a variety of items including Scentsy products, Usborne books, Pink Zebra, as well as handmade purses, blankets, and personalized crafts. There will also be a bake sale and a silent auction. Food will be catered by Rosarita's in Santaquin.
Entertainment will be provided by local groups, Twist and Shout, Rococo Performing Arts Studio, and Iron Maiden Belly Dance. Other performance groups or individuals who would like to perform or participate can contact Arin and Jay Jones via their blog or contact Heather Hunt at 801-473-5232.