SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – When Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, it crushed several Utah families already in the process of bringing their adoptive children home.
Shortly after their first child was born, Wayne and Jeana Bonner made the decision to adopt. Bonner said, "We kind of always knew that we would, or want to, adopt a child one day that had Down syndrome like our oldest biological daughter,” explained Bonner.
Following the footsteps of other Utah families who have adopted children with Down syndrome, the Bonners started their search in Russia. They started looking in December of last year and found 5-year-old Jaymi.
Wayne Bonner said, "Just an incredible amount of energy and joy, just being around her you know she's someone special."
Everything was ready to go; last month they were made the legal guardians of Jaymi, but then they're world came tumbling down.
"Got the court ruling in December and Russian law you have to wait 30 days from the ruling before it’s official and during those 30 days was when this new ban was enacted,” explained Bonner.
Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law that took effect January 1st, just days before the Bonners would be able to take Jaymi home, that prevented American families from adopting Russian orphans. The law is in retaliation for a recently passed u-s law that calls for sanctions against Russian officials who violated human rights.
"I don't think it's fair for any child to be used in politics,” said Bonner. “These kids just need a family, they need help."
The move has even angered some Russians who argue it victimizes children just to make a political point. But for Wayne and Jeana, who is currently in Russia, these hold ups aren't so much frustrating but saddening because they already consider this little girls theirs.
Bonner said, "We're committed to this girl and we love her and we know she loves us and sees something special in us."