South Jordan Couple Grateful for Daughter Adopted from Russia

by Norris Law Group on June 4, 2014

jaymi_bonner_150Deseret News journalist Emiley Morgan tells the story of Wayne and Jeana Bonner of South Jordan, UT and how they first met their adopted daughter. The Bonners traveled to Russia to distribute toys to children at an orphanage there. One of the children to whom they gave toys was a very friendly little blond girl of approximately 5 to 6 years of age who happened to have Down Syndrome. Upon receiving her toys from the Bonners, the girl was so excited that she took the toys and held them proudly over her head to show them to the other children in the orphanage. According to Wayne Bonner, “They all started celebrating and cheering, and we were like, ‘She likes to share. She likes the other kids in her class’…I just thought that was so cool that she was so proud of her toys and wanted to celebrate with her friends and share them.”

The Bonners fell in love with the little girl, and inquired about adopting her. They were especially keen to adopt here because they already had a biological daughter, Kaelyn, who also has Down Syndrome. Not only were the Bonners already familiar with the special needs of Down Syndrome children, but they were also aware that special needs children are not often adopted. They saw this as a wonderful opportunity to provide a child with a loving home, and to add to their family. The Russian girl was older than their other children, and they thought she would make a wonderful “big sister.”

The adoption process took about a year, during which the girl remained in the Russian orphanage. Just as the adoption was nearly complete in late 2012, Russia changed its laws regarding international adoption, and the Bonners were told that they would not be able to adopt the girl.

Heartbroken, but undeterred, Jeana Bonner traveled to Moscow and waged a five-week legal battle to have the adoption reinstated. Finally, the Russian High Court ordered a lower court to approve the adoption, and the Bonners’ daughters Kaelyn and Bryn met their new older sister, Jaymi.

Jaymi is thriving, and has fit right in with her new family. Wayne Bonner says, “It’s hard, but it’s absolutely worth it…She came with a lot of baggage and trying to break all that down and bond with her was not the easiest thing mentally or emotionally, but the rewards make it absolutely worth it.”

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.


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