Tag Archives: “Helen”

It’s all gone.

Our paperwork is gone, out the door. Well, the beginning of it. The paperwork that will hopefully get us registered in a certain Eastern European country next Tuesday is gone. YAY!

Everything seemed to go wrong this week. I will not be surprised if our paperwork somehow gets lost while in transport. We had everything from misunderstands, last minute changes in license numbers, missing clearances and missing notary signatures. Thank God it all came together. I kept telling Aaron that I would not be surprised if the office we needed to go to for the apostilles was on fire or was closed because of the swine flu, or some other freak occurrence. Fortunately, it was open and they were helpful.

I have gotten lots of questions about the shirts and I will have details soon!

Finding Helen, Part 3

Remember the last part? That was Monday morning.

Monday afternoon, 1 PM. I got an email from the agency we had talked to about Helen. The family who had committed to her decided to step down. After talking with their social worker, they felt that they needed more information on Helen’s medical needs and the agency did not believe that they would be able to provide more information. The agency asked if we would consider Helen. In the email, it also mentioned that the family said they would support us financially if we decided to go ahead with Helen’s adoption. 
I emailed them back, saying that we would thinking about it and asked for clarification on what they meant saying that they would support us financially. I started making phone calls… first to Aaron, who was at work. I only talked to him for a couple minutes, telling him what had happened. I knew he was busy, but I wanted him to know so he could start thinking about it.

Then, I called my mom. She told my sister, who was right there while we were on the phone, what had happened. My sister, who had talked to me over the weekend when I was feeling frustrated, made a comment about how this is how things were meant to work out. That is exactly what I had been thinking. Here I had been, in this place of having no clue what was going on, feeling like I was ready to adopt again and just needed to start, yet all the doors seemed to be closing around us. Then this one opened.

Then, I got an email back from the agency, relaying the family’s message. They would put a very large amount of money in Helen’s grant account, if we decided to adopt her, to allow us to move forward with the adoption without worrying about fundraising. I nearly fainted. Instead, I called Aaron and we decided that this is what we had been waiting for, the final piece of the puzzle.

So, we committed to Helen on September 26th. We were hoping to have our dossier registered on October 24th, but it looks like that is not going to happen now. At the latest, it will be registered on November 15th and we will be making our first trip the first week of December, at the latest. We hope to have Helen home by February.

While this other family did give us a very generous grant, we still need to do some fundraising to raise the rest of the money. My best guess is we will still need $5,000-$8,000. This is a lot of money to raise in this small amount of time, but I know that we can do it. Will you help us? We will soon start selling this shirts, ready in time for Christmas…


Finding Helen, Part 2

I was upset… I think confused is probably a more appropriate word. I knew that something like this could happen. I was confused because I thought that B was meant to be our daughter, that we were on the right path. My next thought was that there must be another little girl out there for us. I imagined that there was some similarity between our daughter and B.

I started combing waiting child listings. There was one little girl, N, we had inquired about before we adopted Reed and Lena. I asked about her again.

As I scrolled through the listings, I saw Helen. At first glance, I thought it was the same little girl. They looked a bit alike and both had stories of living in the hospital. When I got down to where it said that she had Short Bowel Syndrome, not HIV, I realized it was a different girl. I was not familiar with SBS, but I asked about her anyways. The agency told me that they might have a family for her. A few others had inquired. I am not sure why, but knowing that, I still continued to research SBS. I told the agency to keep me in the loop.

We heard back from Reece’s Rainbow about N. No information on her, but they thought they could get some in a few weeks.

Then we heard back about Helen. One family had said no. The agency was asking us if we’d like to adopt her. We knew there was a third family interested and financially ready, but this family would need to get a waiver to adopt her. Helen’s region only allows the family to have 3 kids at home already and this family has 4. We had the money ready to start an adoption, but Helen’s situation requires a family to more quickly to get her. A big concern for us would be fundraising quickly, and here was another family, financially ready. We told the agency to go to the other family and see if they could get the waiver.

They could. They were all set to go, with our blessing. Because of Helen’s medical needs, I felt relieved. We could adopt a kid with easier special needs. Special needs I knew I could handle.

N was still a possibility and we were waiting for more information on her. In the meantime, I looked at more photo listings. I asked about two more kids. James was one. I was pretty sure he was unavailable, but I wanted to be certain. Yes, he is unavailable.

The other was a little girl, L, on a photo listing outside of Reece’s Rainbow. I was told to email Bethany. This girl was so cute. By this time, we were talking to other people about our plans to adopt again. I sent my mom and sister her photo. Aaron and I even talking about what we’d give her for a name. My mom and I laughed about who L, who sounded like a real girly girl, would fit in with the boy, the copy-cat tomboy and the three dogs. Bethany emailed me back a few days later and told me that she was in a very expensive region. Okay, if she is meant to be ours, we will find a way. BUT, there was a family in her home country interested in her. Ugh. I told Bethany to let me know how that panned out. That was Saturday night.

I felt crushed. I was certain that we were supposed to adopt again. Certain. Why wasn’t it working out? Okay, God, what now? Do we wait for more information on N or L? I was really just feeling pretty confused and miserable about it. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful sister, who both brought me back down to earth and reminded me of the 147 million orphans in the world. There was one for us.

Sunday and Monday morning, I continued researching different country programs, emailing agencies. So, maybe our kid wasn’t on a photo listing. I also felt like we needed to be homestudy ready. Not sure why. I asked Reece’s Rainbow how hard it would be to transfer our homestudy from one country to another after it was written (N and L are in different countries). Not much of a problem. I emailed our social worker.

She emailed me back on Monday morning. She would be happy to start it immediately, but we needed to pick a country first. Ugh. We couldn’t pick one. Ukraine is in our hearts, but it has some changes going on right now and requires long travel. To chose Russia, we’d have to chose an agency, which meant narrowing down the number of regions we could look at(agencies only work in certain regions). I didn’t feel ready to do that yet. Again, I felt confused and uncomfortable about it.

One more part after this…

Finding Helen, Part 1

I am going to write this in 3 parts, posted over a few days. I want to share all of the details, but I also think it is pretty long to post all at once. Here we go…

The first time we adopted I felt like it was a choice. We wanted to adopt and we said “yes, we will bring these two kids home.” We chose adoption and Reed and Lena. This time, it honestly feels divine.

I said we weren’t going to adopt again, and I meant it. Well, maybe I really meant we would adopt again in several years, after Reed and Lena were older. Maybe we’d have bio kids. I didn’t think I wanted to adopt internationally again, especially from a country with such long travel.

I still looked at the children on Reece’s Rainbow from time to time, but it felt safe. I felt detached from them. There were no longer children from Reed and Lena’s orphanage listed (all adopted or unavailable now). One day I saw a cute baby girl, Helen, who was HIV+. She was just over a year old and had a unique story about living in the hospital for her whole life. I told Aaron it was good I didn’t want to adopt again, or we would be bringing her home. She quickly had a family commit to her.

Around the same time, I read of another little girl, B, who needed a family. B was also HIV+, really cute and spunky. A blog friend/fellow adoptive mom had met this sweet girl during her visits with her daughter and wrote a wonderful description of her. She sounded really sweet and really caught my attention, but we were not adopting again. Another family stepped up to adopt her, and we were excited for them.

Flash forward a few months. That family was unable to adopt B. Very sad for her, very sad for this family. But, we weren’t adopting again. I could not get that girl off of my mind. I fought it, thinking about why I didn’t want another kid right now. Especially one her age. She was smack-dab in the middle of Reed and Lena, so they’d each be 6 months apart. It didn’t sound too fun to me, yet I felt like she was meant to be our daughter. Have I mentioned I was feeling all this and I hadn’t communicated it to my husband yet?

I’d just ask Aaron and it would be over. Too much money, another kid the same age, traveling again, too soon. Lots of reasons for him to say no. Instead, he said “tell me more about her.” My husband has such a compassionate heart.

I began to gather information from people who had met B or keep track of information on waiting children. Accounts of her, photos. I got one particular long, wonderful description of her, pleading for her family and I was ready to say “yes!” I showed it to Aaron. But, we had a busy day with company over, so we didn’t get a chance to talk about it right then. A couple of hours later, the same person emailed me back saying that B had a family. “Are you her family?” Nope.

To be continued…




We are Helen’s family!

Helen is 3 years old, just two months younger than Lena. She has Short Bowel Syndrome, which can be a pretty complicated condition, but from most recent update we have gotten on her, it sounds like she is doing really well.

It is a very cool story of how we came to be Helen’s family. I can’t wait to share it with you, but it is going to take a couple different blog posts.

We are so excited to be Helen’s family!