TAMPA, Florida - So many families feel the call to adopt, but money sometimes gets in the way. But a local non-profit is taking the burden of finances away and making a difference for families and children.
It's hard to think money could stand in the way of true, unconditional love. That's what Amanda and Michael Nunez say 4-year-old Mikiyas and 1 and a half-year-old Eyob have helped them realize. They adopted the two boys from Ethiopia six weeks ago.
"We went into this thinking, 'Oh, we can help change a child's life,' when in reality it's been the opposite. They've changed our lives completely and our family and our hearts," says Amanda Nunez.
She says their biological children, 6-year-old Ilana and 3-year-old Aydan, feel the same way.
"Ilana loves it. She's a little momma. Aydan is really enjoying having brothers to play with."
They're a family thanks to their big hearts and the non-profit Gift of Adoption Fund. It gives grants to families who want to adopt, but can't afford the full cost of an adoption.
"What often times happens, we'll read a grant application and a family is saying, 'We're ready to travel, we've been given the thumbs up, but we can't afford that final cost,'" says Loreen Spencer, chairman of the board of Gift of Adoption Fund.
That was the case for the Nunez family. It was about $10,000 for two trips to get the boys.
"When the money and the finances are taken care of, and you don't have to worry about that, it gives you the fighting spirit to do everything you can to bring the child home," says Michael Nunez.
"It is making a difference because it's giving children a chance to be a part of a family," says Spencer.
And for Mikiyas and Eyob, that's a chance that's priceless.
Gift of Adoption Fund raises money through donations and fundraisers. The biggest one is this Friday, November 2 called "Havana Nights." It hopes to raise $50,000 which will help 10 families.
You can learn more about the event and how you can donate here: https://www.giftofadoption.org/