Caleb and Allison Gildner will be hopping around the Brainerd lakes area this weekend, hiding candy-filled plastic Easter eggs for a donation and others to find.
The Baxter couple's "Egg Your Yard!" fundraiser will take place Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, in the Brainerd lakes area to help with the cost of their adoption of a 6-month-old girl.
"We're adopting internationally from India," said Allison Gildner, a 31-year-old psychotherapist at Nystrom & Associates Ltd. "At this point, we've completed a home study and done a bunch of other paperwork and so then you get put on a list ... where you can be matched with a child."
The husband and wife started a blog about their ups and downs with the adoption process with the America World adoption agency and were matched after five years with a girl on March 15.
"When you adopt internationally, you have to pick a country right from the get-go because each country has kind of its own criteria and process," she said.
America World desires for every adoptable orphan to be placed in a Christian home, according to its website, which charges a $295 international adoption application fee for starters. The baby girl from India will become part of the Gildner family later this year, according to Allison Gildner.
"We actually started the adoption process in December 2013. And, at that time, we applied to adopt from the country of Ethiopia, and we did the whole process at that time. And in November 2014, that's when we started the wait to be matched with a child out of Ethiopia," she said.
Ethiopia was second only to China as the most popular country for adoptions by Americans in 2011, according to NPR, but adoption requirements were made more stringent and the number of Ethiopian children adopted by Americans plummeted from 2,511 in 2010 to 133 in 2016.
"During that process, there was some political changes in Ethiopia, and eventually they decided to close all international adoptions, and that happened last year in January 2018," she said. "At that point, our whole adoption was nullified basically, and we had to start all over again."
The married couple has so far paid $23,723 to adopt with between $18,362 and $24,812 left in projected expenses related to their dreams of adopting, according to their blog.
"We had to go through the process twice at this point," she said of her and her 30-year-old husband.
The couple purchased about 1,000 plastic eggs for the fundraiser and were given at least 200. As of Monday, they have received donations to pay to hide about 1,200 eggs, she said, and have raised about $800 or their $1,000 goal.
"We both wanted to adopt since before we knew each other ... and a big part of that is driven by our Christian faith and wanting to care for people," she said.
Egg Your Yard!
● What: Adoption fundraiser for Caleb and Allison Gildner of Baxter.
● When: After 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, and Saturday.
● Where: Brainerd lakes area yards.
● Cost: $20 for 25 eggs, $30 for 50 eggs, or $50 for 100 eggs. Add an "empty tomb" egg at no extra cost-an empty golden egg to spark discussion about the empty tomb on Easter morning.
● More info: https://mattheweighteenfive.wordpress.com/fundraising.