Friday, May 6, 2011

Oleksandra Claire was our inspiration...

So I guess because she is no longer a ward of the state I can use her real name.  Because we still might go to her country, I'm still not gonna mention that on a public forum.

Over a year ago we saw a picture of a little girl on Reeces Rainbow with the code name 'Marissa' and it was a huge turning point in our lives.

We were seriously considering adopting a little girl through a private adoption here in the States.  We had ALWAYS said that we had two healthy 'perfect' children already and if we were blessed enough to adopt again we would adopt a child who was harder to place.  We had discussed a toddler with some kind of medical special need.  Well, through a friend we were put in touch with a very nice young woman who had made the decision to put up her little girl for adoption and we got a little distracted from our original plan.

I saw Marissa's picture and everything changed.  It hit me HARD that if we adopted this infant (who I knew I could help find an amazing family) we would very likely not be able to adopt a special needs 'older' child. Our plan at that time was not exactly to adopt Marissa, but we both felt that was a turning point for us.

Fast forward - through a lot of details.....

In October 2010 we committed to 'Marissa' - we found out her real name was Oleksandra - which we thought was super cute.  We called her 'Oleksandra Claire', and 'Ollie' - since the kids had a hard time saying 'Oleksandra' - we called her 'Claire' on this blog because we were not allowed to call her by her given name until she was not an orphan any more.

October, November, December, January, February....

February she became internationally available and we were told to hurry our dossier over to her country.

Delay, delay, delay - and on May 4th our dossier made it to her country.  Her file was no longer available.  The VERY unlikely event had happened - she was adopted by another family sometime between February and May 4th.

We don't know the family - we had no legal ties to her at all.  We spent months worrying, praying, and loving her even though we had never met her - and it is hard for us to wrap our heads and hearts around the fact that we never (in this lifetime) will. 

We have had all kinds of response to this - mostly friends who are heartbroken with us, we've heard from friends who have suffered through miscarriages and infant loss who know a similar pain.  Friends who have lost referrals and even with a new referral they still wonder about that child they loved for so long.  We've heard the always annoying 'You'll get a new one' - we know this is out of ignorance and not meant to hurt, but it does.  We've had several ask about the money...many people donated to our fund so it is a fair question, but it's frustrating to hear.  We've had plenty of friends and family that have never reached out during the entire process because they thought it was dumb.  Their silence still leads us to believe we are the victims of our own bad decisions - that we could have avoided it without taking the risk - we think the risk was worth taking.

It is a VERY unique feeling.  We had hopes, dreams, prayers, and love for this child for months.  Similar to loving a child in your womb, but very different - because we loved her when we had NO grasp on her - we loved her & worried for her as she lived in a baby house thousands of miles away.  Not that you can't have something go wrong when you are pregnant - but it is true vulnerability to take on the task of loving a child you are months from ever being able to kiss goodnight, not knowing what othes are doing to her in that time.  We will never be her parents, which I guess is comparable to a miscarriage or infant loss, but not really - because she lives on.  She just has other parents.  We are happy she is no longer an orphan, but we are deeply jealous of the family who made it to her before us.  We then feel guilty for being jealous of these people who jumped through every hoop we jumped through, who had no idea who we were or that she was unofficially on hold for us.  We feel guilty that we REALLY want her - because we know we will ultimately adopt again and we will love that child, and if we hadn't lost Oleksandra we would never meet whoever is truly destined for our family.

It's complicated.  I hope this sheds some light.

We plan on keeping this blog to document our journey - but we will add one level of complication to it all for the reader - no matter what we end up doing - we will not be naming a child 'Claire' or middle name 'Claire' - we love that name - but it is her name (in our hearts anyway).

We are thankful for her soulful little eyes that reminded us at a very important time that we were meant to adopt a hard to place child.  We can only assume she is a great treasure to her new family, and while it will always be a little wounded from this turn of events, we accept what is done is done and was always part of the plan.

Please pray for her new family and that they are just as blessed as can be.  Please pray for us, that in the 'rear view mirror' we can see that 'God blessed the broken road....'



  1. Kate am so sorry for your loss. I am hoping that my comment on FB wasn't a hurtful one. I can not imaging the pain of losing a child even if you never held her. Trust me I fear the same thing with our little Varvara (aka Barbara) and fear we will not be the one for little Matthew. I only meant by my comment that God's plan is so perfect and the love you carry for "Little Clair" is not in vain. HOw lucky is she to be loved so much not by just one family but two and not by one mommy and daddy but two. I pray for journey ahead and I pray you are blessed by the love of another little one. I am so sorry if my comment was misunderstood I really pray it was not. :(

  2. no no! not at all - wasn't you! I doubt anyone reading this is a person I was talking about - I promise I have only been encouraged and I am very excited to watch your Barbara & hopefully Matthew come home xoxo

  3. Oh man. So sad to hear this news. But God's Will will bring the right child to you, there must be someone who needs you more. God Bless You all for your love!!

  4. I've learned through my own loss (miscarriage) that those "you can always try for another one", and "it just wasn't meant to be" while well meaning thoughts, are still so hard to hear. To tell someone that the child that they loved who is taken from them was just not meant to be is not comforting. Ollie was your child just as much as the baby that we lost was our child. You had hopes, and dreams, and longed to hold her and tell her how much you love her and how long you had waited for her. You have lost a child, not just a picture of one. Take your time to grieve for her. I think your decision to not use her name for another child is very thoughtful, it was her name, and it is the name that you will always associate with her. God gave us our "lost" children for a reason Kate. If not for them, we might not be where we are in our lives right now. My loss was many years ago, and if not for that, I wouldn't have the children that I have now. For you it is fresh, but God will lead you to your child, and if not for Ollie, you might not be open to him/her. While we have NO idea why God allows things like this to happen, He has a reason. Praying that He reveals His plan to you soon. Praying for your family as you go forward in His will.

  5. My heart is breaking for you guys. I was so looking forward to seeing you with her. I remember the first time I saw her face, I thought "oh she is TOO cute!" You are the third family this week to lose their sweetheart, and I am praying for all of you. It honestly keeps me up at night, all of these families trying to get to their babies.

    I don't know why, but I really felt led to show you this girl. I don't know, and I'm certainly not suggesting anything, but she's five, and when she turns 16 and ages out she'll end up a prostitute or something awful like that because she has HIV. She has been listed for a bit now and she just really captured my heart today. So please, don't take offense, I'm not suggesting anything, I just felt led to post her here.

    Love you guys. Know that the RR family is behind you 100% of the way, whatever you do from here.

  6. thanks so much Molly - she is beautiful for sure and in our prayers - we want to keep the birth order in our family as it is & promised our kids a 'little' sister or brother - we've got a just turned 5 year old and a 4 year old, at less than a year apart they feel like twins & i can't see myself with 'triplets' ;)- so we have requested a 2 - 3 year old....we also to be honest are not open to HIV at this time - when our kids are older & more predictable we will be but in this stage we just can't.


  7. All I can say, Kate and Harry, is that I love you and your family, all of you, regardless where you are in the big world, very much. I wish I could say something to make this tremendous heartache go away, but it just comes down to I love you all and am privileged to know you all.

  8. I am so sorry. We are praying for your family in this time.

  9. There are not words that can take away the feeling of pain - and finding just the right words that can bring some comfort to you and your family is not easy. I'm unable to understand what that aching must feel like, not that I wish I could, but rather so my empathy for you, your husband, and your beautiful children could come across more clearly. Just from little posts on facebook I could see the tremendous love you have for Claire. Continue to love her and cherish the journey you took. What I feel most awful about is the timing of learning this news, just before Mothers Day - I'm so sorry that this journey did not bring you Claire, though I'm certain there is something else it brought you and your family... you are so blessed. Allow yourself the time and space to greive. Hugs to each of you.