fosteradopt: Money stands in the way of couple, adopted daughter

Money stands in the way of couple, adopted daughter

Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:19 PM EDT

By Diane Church
Staff Writer

PLAINVILLE — Every day, Renee Rowe looks at the bedroom that she and her husband Kevin have set up for Oksana, the eight-year-old girl they are adopting from the Ukraine.

"Sometimes I pick up her picture, smile and talk to her," Renee said, sitting in the living room at the Rectory of Sacred Heart Church in Berlin. "Sometimes I miss her and the tears flow.

"It’s all his fault," she added, smiling as she pointed at the Rev. Ed Nadolny, who was sitting nearby.

Yes, it is Nadolny’s fault, for he told his parishioners about the little orphans, such as Oksana, languishing in orphanages in poor countries.

The children hope that nice people in better circumstances will adopt them and give them a home.

The Rowes were moved to apply to adopt a little girl. A professional from Life Source Center, which helps organize adoptions all over the world, visited their home and interviewed them to make sure they would be suitable parents.

Oksana even visited them last December and stayed for two weeks. Nadolny picked her up at JFK Airport and the Rowes raised $3000 for her visit. Some other orphans travelled with her to visit their host families.

But there’s just one thing standing between the couple and Oksana: they need about $25,000 to cover the legal fees, paperwork and other costs associated with bringing Oksana here for good. It’s a sizable heap of money they don’t have.

The couple is trying to raise the money. Renee said they sold lollipops for awhile, which brought in a few hundred dollars. On May 15 they held a fundraiser at Trinity on Main in New Britain, which brought in $2,500. Then Hen House Restaurant in Southington provided a buffet and local band The Glamour Girls were the entertainment. The Rowes call their fundraising efforts HALO, which is short for Help us Adopt Little Oksana.

Nadolny is also helping raise money for them and other families in the area who want to adopt orphans. He has purchased 2,000 stuffed bears that he is trying to sell.

"They’re not Teddy Bears, they’re Eddy Bears because my first name is Ed," he said.

Another fundraiser is "Paws of Remembrance" a small box containing plaster for a beloved pet’s pawprint. It’s similar to the handprint in clay that generations of children have brought home from school as a gift for their parents.

Nadolny also has a deal with Viridian, an electric company. For every household that signs up through him, Viridian will donate $2 to Father Nadolny’s Good News Fund.

"Viridian has lower rates than other providers," he said. "One woman saved $76 in one month."

During Oksana’s visit, there was a language barrier. She doesn’t speak English and they don’t speak Ukrainian. However Renee, who is 52, has a 30-year-old hearing impaired daughter from her first marriage. They communicated using hand signs.

The couple took Oksana on day trips and bought gifts for her. Because of fear of theft at the orphanage, most of the gifts are in Oksana’s bedroom in the Rowe’s Plainville home. Her bed is covered with a bedspread with a big picture of Tinkerbelle, her favorite cartoon character. There are also Tinkerbelle pictures on the wall.

Before Oksana could visit, the Rowes and their home were thoroughly vetted by Life Source Center in Plantsville, which helps organize similar adoptions in the area for various agencies all over the world.

Ray Shocki of Life Source Center said a home is checked for many things, from smoke alarms to cleanliness to ensuring all firearms are locked up. Parents must have a physical exam, submit four letters of recommendation, their birth certificates and marriage certificate. The nature of the couple’s relationship and their sensitivity to a child’s culture are also examined through conversations with the couple. This process, called a home study, costs $1,500.

"We are liaisons between the couple and the adoption agency," Shocki said. "Every country is different."

Shocki was not surprised that Oksana’s adoption comes with a $25,000 price tag.

"They have to pay for the dossier, paperwork and legal issues," he said. "The biological parents’ rights have to be terminated. It’s not just a matter of picking up the child. Even in the United States, agencies charge a comparable amount. It could be even more."

Life Source Center is also arranging adoptions of children from Ethiopia and Haiti.

Oksana is planning to return for another visit in August. Meanwhile the Rowes are continuing to work to raise money so she can return for good. This Sunday, Renee will be selling stuffed bears in front of her home at 146 Broad Street in Plainville.

Kevin said the couple may hold another fund-raiser event, perhaps a golf tournament, in the near future.

"It takes time," he said. "For the fund-raiser at Trinity on Main, we worked on it 24 hours a day. But it was a success."

"We’ll keep working on it," Nadolny said.

To contribute to Father Nadolny’s Good News Fund or purchase an Eddy Bear, Paws of Remembrance or switch to Viridian electricity, call Father Nadolny at (860) 828-0154.


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Content Last Modified on 6/21/2010 10:52:11 AM