After welcoming their eighth child, Mikey, into the world, some might have thought the Langers were done adding members to their family. However, after being blessed with Mikey, who has Down Syndrome, the family felt their lives had been enriched in so many immeasurable ways that they decided to look at adopting another child with Down Syndrome.
"About two years ago, we started looking. (Georgiy) was the first one to enter our hearts. And has never left. Our children are ecstatic to have another child and especially at the idea of another Down Syndrome child," said Cassie Langer.
The family - who live just south of Woodville near Wilson - found that child in Georgiy, a 5-year-old boy with Down Syndrome who lives in Ukraine.
"Our last biological boy has Down Syndrome, but he is highly functioning and his motor skills and physical capabilities are very advanced. I attribute that to our family being very involved and the fact that we take our children everywhere with us," Langer said. "We are very hopeful that this little boy is going to have a lot of examples to follow and just take off. He is not walking on his own yet, but I'm guessing in a week after being home here he will just take off."
A fundraiser to pay for the Langers' travel expenses - including airfare, hotel, meals and driver fees while traveling in Ukraine - is being held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Brother Michael CCD Center at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Sabin Avenue) in Spring Valley. The fundraiser will include a spaghetti dinner, a pie paddle auction, a basket silent auction raffle, Culver's ice cream and snacks for sale, as well as fun events for kids.
Flights to Ukraine are around $1,600 for two people, round trip, while the cost per day to stay in the Ukraine is roughly $100, Langer said. So far, the family has paid $18,000 out of pocket and are expecting to pay anywhere between $9,000 to $10,000 for the rest of their travels back and forth from Ukraine.
Langer's husband, Mike, is a self-employed carpenter, who now mostly does work with radon testing and mitigation. Langer does the paperwork for her husband's business and takes care of the kids. The oldest of the Langers' children is in college at Georgia Tech, studying aerospace engineering. The rest of the couple's seven children still live at home and take part in a large variety of sports and other activities which keep the family busy.
According to Langer, the couple have a court date on Dec. 10, which they will have to travel to Ukraine for, before coming back home to wait the mandatory 30 days before they can go back to finalize the adoption. The final trip to Ukraine will include Georgiy getting medical tests and getting his visa put together. The trip could last anywhere from seven days to three weeks, Langer said. The Langers expect to be able to bring their son home in January.
The Langers have a Go Fund Me page - gofundme.com/langers-want-to-adopt-ukraine-baby - where anyone can donate to help pay for their travel expenses. For more information on the Dec. 2 fundraiser, look for the "Langer Family Adoption Fundraiser!" on Facebook or visit facebook.com/events/2160877460837927.