Love Makes a Family

Elena Delhagen
Elena Delhagen Palmyra, New York

J. is a young girl I (Elena) met in West Africa back in 2009. She had been abandoned at a nearby orphanage by her grandparents, and throughout my five years spent in her country, I grew very close to J. Even after I left and returned stateside, after Kyle and I got married and had a child of our own, I’d speak of her often.

It has recently come to our attention that J. was taken to an eye clinic for vision loss, but the doctors there, with the limited resources they have, are unable to give a clear diagnosis. The first diagnosis they gave was a tumor. Weeks later, they also gave a possible diagnosis of a mature congenital cataract. Because her country does not have a pediatric ophthalmologist or oncologist, neither of those conditions are treatable there. After much thought and prayer, we have decided to pursue adoption for J.

By donating, you are helping us give her a new beginning, and a chance at health, healing, and long life. You are helping us to give her a family, a home, and access to opportunities she would not have otherwise. The fact of the matter is: hope for J. means giving her a forever-family, where she will get properly diagnosed, treated as soon as possible, and have access to the life-long follow-up care she will need. Our hearts long to bring J. home, to have her as ours.  It is often said that to bring up a child in this world, it takes a village. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for becoming a part of ours!

There are several options available for you to give financially.

You may make a tax-deductible gift through Lifesong.
1)You can make a tax-deductible donation right here, by clicking the red “DONATE NOW” button above.

2) You may give by personal check. Please make checks payable to 
Lifesong for Orphans In the memo please write: 
 7718 DelhagenMail checks to Lifesong for Orphans 
PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744

3) You can also purchase coffee or other merchandise through Gobena, which gives us 50% of each product sold! http://my.gobena.org/stories/delhagen-adoption-fundraiser/


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Delhagen 7718”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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Raised to date by 13 people
 of  $9,000
445 days left

My Story

J. is a young girl I (Elena) met in West Africa back in 2009. She had been abandoned at a nearby orphanage by her grandparents, and throughout my five years spent in her country, I grew very close to J. Even after I left and returned stateside, after Kyle and I got married and had a child of our own, I’d speak of her often.

It has recently come to our attention that J. was taken to an eye clinic for vision loss, but the doctors there, with the limited resources they have, are unable to give a clear diagnosis. The first diagnosis they gave was a tumor. Weeks later, they also gave a possible diagnosis of a mature congenital cataract. Because her country does not have a pediatric ophthalmologist or oncologist, neither of those conditions are treatable there. After much thought and prayer, we have decided to pursue adoption for J.

By donating, you are helping us give her a new beginning, and a chance at health, healing, and long life. You are helping us to give her a family, a home, and access to opportunities she would not have otherwise. The fact of the matter is: hope for J. means giving her a forever-family, where she will get properly diagnosed, treated as soon as possible, and have access to the life-long follow-up care she will need. Our hearts long to bring J. home, to have her as ours.  It is often said that to bring up a child in this world, it takes a village. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for becoming a part of ours!

There are several options available for you to give financially.

You may make a tax-deductible gift through Lifesong.
1)You can make a tax-deductible donation right here, by clicking the red “DONATE NOW” button above.

2) You may give by personal check. Please make checks payable to 
Lifesong for Orphans In the memo please write: 
 7718 DelhagenMail checks to Lifesong for Orphans 
PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744

3) You can also purchase coffee or other merchandise through Gobena, which gives us 50% of each product sold! http://my.gobena.org/stories/delhagen-adoption-fundraiser/


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Delhagen 7718”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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World Adoption Day 2018

November 5, 2018
Greetings, loved ones!

We just had a wonderful visit with our social worker, who has walked us through the home study piece of our adoption process. Because our case was delayed for all those months this year, our current home study had expired, and we needed to update it to keep our file current. It was wonderful to see her, but if we’re being honest? It was less wonderful to have to shell out almost $800 for the update fee.

We have been honest all throughout this journey that funds have been one of the most difficult pieces. Adoption, especially international adoption, is expensive. We live on a meager pastor’s salary and the small income I make from working at the school basically covers childcare and groceries. We *DID* have enough in our adoption fund to cover our last installment to the agency…until we found out we’d need the updated home study. And then we had to pay school and foster fees for J. And then we found out we’d probably need to take two trips for the adoption, which doubles the amount of money we’d budgeted that we’d need for travel.

Why are we telling you all this? Well, because this coming Friday — November 9th — is a special day for us. It’s World Adoption Day, a global celebration of adoption and everyone who has been impacted by it! Adoptive families are ones just like us: walking by faith, unsure how it’s all going to come together, but trusting that this child–this child is meant to be ours.

According to the World Adoption Day website, “#WorldAdoptionDay is a day to celebrate family. #WorldAdoptionDay is a day to raise awareness for adoption. #WorldAdoptionDay is a day to raise funds to support families in their adoption. Ambassadors from all over the world are organizing events and parties, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate #WorldAdoptionDay. Join us as we create a day to celebrate the power and beauty of family brought together through adoption.”

 
We are humbly asking that this week, as we celebrate World Adoption Day, you would become an ambassador for our family. Maybe you feel led to give a donation; all the info is found right here on our MyStory page. Maybe you can share this on social media, or with your church, or your workplace, or your family to spread awareness and funding. We’ve always said it takes a village to raise a child, and we know that our adoption of J. simply would not be possible without you, our village, behind us. So please, think about how you can be an ambassador this week and, as always, thank you so very much for being in our corner.

Love,
The Delhagens

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One HUGE step forward!

September 26, 2018

The other day, we emailed our monthly newsletter to friends, family, supporters, and prayer partners. It was a hard email for us to send, mainly because we had no new news, and we were feeling disappointed, dejected, and very, very frustrated with circumstances that were out of our hands.

Fast forward to today, when we got an email from our adoption agency that our request for J’s case history has FINALLY been accepted by her government! This means that they are now officially working on our case. The first step is to track down any living family she has to obtain their consent for the adoption. The government estimates it takes about three months but, as we’ve seen lately, there has been a huge slow-down of cases. So if you pray, please pray for a quick turnaround with this part of the process! Once the case history has been completed and signed off on, we are officially matched as a waiting child and her adoptive parents.

We knew she had begun school recently, but had no idea where she was academicallly. The education system in her country has been affected by years of war and, later, disease, which meant children were out of school for long periods of time. We found out today that J. has been placed in the third grade. Though it’s a little behind where she’d be here in America, it’s nothing that can’t be managed.

Our hearts are lightened at this news, and we are so excited to share it with you! Please continue praying for our fundraising efforts for things like an updated home study, foster care fees and, lastly, travel when it’s time to bring our girl home.

Much love,
The Delhagens

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Waiting with Anticipation

August 6, 2018

Several days ago, we got an email from our adoption agency that the last of the cases before ours are *THISCLOSE* to being signed off on, which means ours will be accepted and started on any day now! We are waiting each and every day with anticipation, hoping to hear the good news that our case file has entered the queue. We know there is still work to be done after that, and our waiting will continue, but it will just be such a relief to have at least one step forward after months and months of standing still. We hope to update you soon with that great news!

Our MudLove campaign continues for 18 more days, and we are nearly halfway to our goal of $1000 raised! If you haven’t checked it out yet, please visit mudlove.com/delhagenfamily & share away with friends and family.

Thank you!

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Update on our MudLove campaign!

July 21, 2018

When the design team at MudLove was working on our project, they asked if there were any words or phrases that were particularly important to us. This was a no-brainer, as our t-shirt campaign, “Love Makes a Family”, really made evident how widespread and committed our community of loved ones is to helping bring J. home. We designed this mug with you in mind. J. belongs to our family as our daughter, but in our hearts, she also belongs to a community of love and support from each of you. Thank you!

We are already OVER 20% of our goal, and are so excited to keep the ball rolling! Our products are available for the next few weeks at mudlove.com/delhagenfamily and, if you order in the next week, you’ll get FREE SHIPPING (US orders only) on a purchase of $50 or more! Donations count towards that $50, too! The special shipping code is DELHAGEN, so go ahead and enjoy a discount while helping us bring our girl home!

Love,
K, E, and A

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We’re Partnering with MudLove!!!

July 16, 2018

Good morning, friends!
We recently got an update about our J. girl from our adoption agency director who is visiting West Africa right now. She is adjusting well and is excited for the adoption. They also said she is a great help with the younger children in the home, as she is practicing for when she is with her younger brother. (*cue all the tears and heart eyes*)

On the U.S. side, we continue to be busy with fundraising. We are honored to have been chosen to partner with MudLove, which provides clean water to a person in need with every product sold! Their team of designers worked with us to create unique and personalized products to help our campaign. We’d love it if you would take a look at mudlove.com/delhagenfamily
Maybe you’d like a Love Makes a Family mug to go with that yummy Gobena coffee you ordered from us?? 
😉

We are excited about this campaign! It only runs for 40 days, though, so let’s do this thing! Additionally, for the next 2 weeks, MudLove is offering FREE SHIPPING (US orders only) if you purchase $50+! Donations count towards the $50 too! Check it out; the special shipping code is DELHAGEN.

Love, 
The Delhagens
 mudlove.com/delhagenfamily

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When hope comes alive

July 4, 2018

As we enter the summer months, life slows down a bit, doesn’t it? Longer days, family vacations, holidays…they all give us a chance to exhale a little and catch our breath. 

 

To be honest, when we started the adoption process last year, we had hopes that it would be winding down around this time. We had dreams of having our daughter here for the summer, when I (Elena) would be off of work and Kyle could use some vacation time to welcome her home and learn a new rhythm as a family of four. As you know from prior updates, our paperwork has been in a five-month-stall period, so sadly, our hopes of having J. here this summer were dashed.

HOWEVER!

In just a couple days, one of the program directors from our adoption agency will be traveling to West Africa, and we are all EXTREMELY hopeful that her presence there will help move things along. Once our dossier (read: family file) is accepted, they can begin the work of tracing J.’s biological family, getting her medical exam, and more. With the director on the ground, chances are good she’ll be able to help get this process started.

It can be hard to hope sometimes when you are afraid of being disappointed. In the long, slow days of summer when not much is happening, it can be difficult to keep working, keep moving forward. However, we are greatly encouraged by this influx of hope and, prayerfully, we’ll be able to update again soon that our dossier has been accepted!

 

One of the things that has kept us sane during this loooong waiting process is having tangible tasks to focus on, to remind us to keep our head in the game, so to speak. We’ve started planning out how to set up her room. And, of course, we’ve been working hard at fundraising. The final chunk of money needed to raise is $6000, and with our story here on Lifesong combined with the Gobena coffee fundraiser, we are over 10% of the way there already! Thank you so much! If you have not given yet, we humbly ask that you consider making a tax-deductible donation right here on this site. You can even mail a check into the address listed in our story.

 

July is a special month for our family, as our son was born on the 27th and, as you know, he is the joy and delight of our lives! To celebrate him, we‘d love to get him *this much* closer to having his sister come home. Our goal by the end of July is to have 22% of our final fundraising (get it? because he’ll be 2?) which is only $675 away! Will you help? Even $5, $10, $20 all adds up! Thank you, friends!

As a reminder, you can click any of the social media buttons on this story to share it on your accounts. We love to share the story of how we are growing our family through international adoption! And we send out an e-newsletter once a month, so if you would like to join that list, please let us know.

Thank you for all you have done for us. We love you.

Until she’s home,
The Delhagens

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Comments

$20

Hidden

Nov 9, 2018

“Much love to you and your family!”

$20

Meg

Nov 9, 2018

“<3”

$1,200

Offline Donation

Aug 27, 2018

$100

Offline Donation

Aug 1, 2018

$30

Meridith

Jul 19, 2018

“We are so excited for you and hope J comes home to you soon!”

$100

Jessica

Jul 12, 2018

“So excited about your soon-to-be new family member!”

$200

Offline Donation

Jul 12, 2018

$100

Offline Donation

Jul 9, 2018

$300

Hidden

Jun 20, 2018

“Persevere and trust in God!!?”

$100

Rena

Jun 20, 2018

“Can't wait to meet J!!!”

$50

Anita & Sam

Jun 17, 2018

“Hoping that J is with you very soon.”

$100

D’Amanda

Jun 16, 2018

“We love your family.”

$25

Terry

Jun 14, 2018

“pa·tience Origin: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin patientia, from patient- ‘suffering,’ from the verb pati .”