Mark and Jeri Iwasaki were two elementary school teachers from Haleiwa, Hawaii. They had a desire from the Lord to start their family by adopting a child in need. Knowing that their love and God’s love was not bound by borders, they began their global adoption journey with the desire to bring their child HOME. Therefore, the theme of their adoption became The Journey Home.
The Iwasakis inspired the 35Kcampaign when they met with the founders and expressed their heart to adopt and their need to find the funding. From that conversation came the idea that “$35,000 is a lot for two people, but $35,000 is not a lot for 35,000 people giving $1.” Just like that, the 35Kcampaign was born and the founders partnered with Mark and Jeri to bring home Zy Moses ZhongYong Iwasaki.
Zy was a seven-year-old Chinese boy from Xian, China. He was abandoned around 9 months old and grew up in an orphanage. Zy was born with a cleft pallet, cleft lip, and congenital heart disease. Zy underwent surgery at a young age, and was blessed to have his cleft lip and part of his cleft pallet repaired with minimal scar tissue. He also received several heart surgeries and is healthy!
In nine short months (through t-shirt campaigns, website donations, and promotional events), the 35Kcampaign helped Mark and Jeri raise over $5,000 – directly paying adoption bills and traveling fees. 35Kcampaign also acted as a major sponsor for several fundraising events where the Iwasakis made an additional $5,000+. Mark and Jeri’s loving community of supporters were able to help them raise an additional $18,000+. In the end, the Iwasaki adoption was 80% funded by the love and support of the combined community surrounding them.
On May 18, 2015, only a year after the Iwasakis began their adoption process, Mark and Jeri met Zy in Xian, China, for the first time. They spent 3 weeks finalizing the adoption and traveling around China before returning home to Haleiwa, Hawaii. Zy, an orphan who grew up only knowing life in an orphanage, now has two loving parents who will be in his life forever. The Journey Home is complete!!