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PROSPECT, KY (WDRB) -- Four-thousand nine-hundred miles separate the African nation of Sierra Leone and Oldham County, Kentucky.
This weekend, a raffle at a wrestling tournament is trying to help bridge that gap between an adoptive family trying to rescue three orphans from a world of abuse.
"The support for the community has been phenomenal," said Francis Pyle.
Francis and his wife Lori are in the process of finalizing the adoption of three African children from the country of Sierra Leone. The raffle for an Ipad mini and a 32-inch television at the Oldham County wrestling tournament were meant to help raise money for airfare to bring the children to Kentucky.
The flight for the three orphans is expected to cost between $8000 to $10,000.
"What they are getting ready to do is just amazing," said Anissa Goldsmith, a friend of the Pyles.
"Once I saw the story I was just blown away by the impact and what they were trying to do," said Kyle Goldsmith, Anissa's husband and wrestling coach for the Pyle's son.
Wrestling coach Kyle Goldsmith and his wife stepped in after hearing about Lori's passion to help these children.
"I wanted to do something to help," said Kyle Goldsmith.
This raffle was created to help cover some of the Pyle's expenses. But it is an adoption that almost wasn't pinned down.
"It was frustrating, I almost lost Sam because it had be finalized before he turned 17 in October. I almost lost the ability to bring him here," Goldsmith said.
Lori met the eldest Sam child three years ago during a mission trip to Sierra Leone to deliver blankets for a charity her daughter was involved with.
Once there, Lori visited an orphanage where she learned Sam and his siblings were being abused. Sam broke out of his orphanage and found Lori at her hotel, begging her to adopt him and his siblings.
"Their story just broke my heart I really didn't know what my part was going to be," Lori told WDRB News.
"Back in 2009 when she went over there, I'll be honest, my last words to her were 'don't come home thinking we are going to adopt,'" said Francis Pyle.
About five weeks later, Francis changed his mind. But the road to adopting these three children wasn't always easy, Francis Pyle said. In fact, Lori Pyle described it as a battle - flying there several sime, meeting with officials who were unwilling to adopt in a war-torn nation where the digital age has yet to arrive. Meetings were scheduled and then rescheduled. Money was tight and patience were tested.
The odds were stacked against the Pyles. But they seem to have persevered after three years, the childrens' visa applications are in the final stages.
"They are very excited almost every time I skype with them they want to know when will you come collect us," said Lori Pyle.
The answer: Lori Pyle hopes will be very soon.
Lori Pyle has created a blog documenting her family's struggle and those of the three children she plans to adopt. The adoption was finalized in August. Her blog is http://nowwesee.blogspot.com/