Art for Adoption: Meet Chris and Zaira.

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Hey everyone! Josh (@jmhenriquez) here. I’m so excited to share more details about the #art4adoption campaign. Over the last few years, I have developed a passion to see foster and orphan youth reached with the love of God and be put into families. After helping the team here at dprture on some campaigns, I knew that a campaign through them was the best way to go. Over the next few weeks we will be releasing limited edition art prints sold exclusively though the dprture store. 100% of the proceeds from these prints will be donated to Chris and Zaira Latham to help cover the costs of their adoption of a little boy from Africa. 

Before they were even married both Chris and Zaira had individually decided that when they were married they would adopt. 

Chris had grown up in South Carolina and when he was a teen his family had taken in a good family friend and had unofficially adopted him. Zaria, born in Mexico, grew up in Orange County and was a part of a family that always helped people. She told me of memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when her family would take in the people others would reject. She recalls when she was little, there were some neighbor kids whose mother was in prison. Because of this, her mom became their unofficial mother. They would come over for meals and if one didn't want to go to school, for example, they would call her mother and she would come over and help get them ready. She attributes her parents to her desire to adopt. She even went as far as to say that she wouldn’t even consider dating a man who wasn't willing to adopt. 

When they met in 2010, Chris was in the Marine Corp and Zaira was attending Point Loma University getting her masters degree. They became friends at first and didn't realize their feelings for each other until Chris was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. It was then that they began to talk more and fell in love. Chris returned in October of 2011, they began officially fating in Novemeber and were engaged just two months later in January of 2012. Chris was honorably discharged from the Marines in June 1st and they were married just eight days later on June 9th. 

When they got married they both knew that they wanted to adopt. It was then that they realized that most adoption agencies required a couple to be married for at least three years. So this June, they hit the three year mark and began the adoption process. They knew they wanted to adopt a child from Africa, so they signed up with and adoption agency and found an orphanage. In most cases a couple is not paired/matched to a child until much later in the process. So when they called the orphanage just to get information you could imagine their surprise when they were told that there was a four year old boy up for immediate adoption. Even though they were anticipating adopting a child ages 0-2, they just knew that this was the child for them. Because of legal reasons the child isn't officially paired, and we cannot yet share many details about the little boy, such as his name, home country, or any photos.

One detail I can vaguely give is that when they signed up with the adoption agency, they had to sign a document called “No Healthy Child” which essentially states that they will not receive a “healthy” child. Even knowing this they were more than happy to continue the process. When they were told about their child they were made aware of a challenge he may be facing.They told mein regards to this: “One thing that we had to learn during this process is to stop and really examine our motives. When you are told that this kid that you may adopt will probably have a disability or challenge, it really takes you back. I had to think ‘Well, if I were to have a biological child with same challenges what would I do? I would love him anyway.’ And its the same. Adopted or not. This adoption isn't about us. Its about him. We see no difference between an adopted child and a biological child. God puts some kids into family through birth and others through adoption. Either way, God puts them into our family.”

This adoption is expected to cost anywhere from $27,000-$31,000. Their next step in the process is the home study and dossier. A dossier is basically a collection of legal documents that are needed to meet the legal requirements for adoption from a foreign country as well as the immigration requirements of the U.S. Government. Their hope is to have the home study and dossier completed by the end of the year. Once that is completed they will be officially matched with their little boy. 

If you want to keep up with their adoption you can check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/czlatham