Kowieski Family Adoption

Doug Kowieski
Doug Kowieski St. Augustine, Florida

Hello and welcome to our adoption journey! We are thrilled to share our decision to adopt Milena, a 14 year old teenager from Bulgaria. Melissa and I had thought that we were going to be empty nesters when our youngest daughter, Sarah, recently graduated from high school. But, God has a different plan for us. God truly does work in mysterious and wonderful ways. It started with Melissa making a drastic career change, leaving education after 25 years and joining Lifeline Children’s Services. it was because of this career move that Melissa was introduced to Milena’s “waiting child” adoption file. God really spoke to her heart to adopt Milena. We discussed it and prayed about it. Milena’s story is tragic and heartbreaking like every child who is waiting to be adopted. Milena has never known what it is like to be part of a family. She has spent all of her life in foster care or, more recently, in an orphanage. If Milena remained in the orphanage and aged out, she would be put out on the streets and most likely fall victim to sex trafficking. Milena will probably be 15 by time our adoption goes through. But that has not dissuaded us from wanting Milena to become part of our family. While we had prayed to God to make sure this is what He was calling us to do, He had answered our prayer when we heard a sermon that in biblical times once someone was adopted into a family they could never be disowned. God had answered our prayers and we wanted to be obedient to adopt Milena. She will always be our daughter and part of our family.

Our adoption journey continues. We are about half-way through the process, but there is still so many challenges ahead. International adoption is expensive and we are in need of help raising additional funds to complete Milena’s adoption. We are asking for your financial support to help bring Milena home.

Lifesong for Orphans and Saving Street Children have graciously provided a matching grant for every dollar that is donated to our adoption up to $9000. Please join us in our journey to adopt Milena into our family. May God’s favor and blessing be upon you!


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 “Kowieski 09847”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, 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.
  • *3.5% fee for donations given with an American Express card
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Raised to date by 7 people
 of  $15,000
125 days left

My Story

Hello and welcome to our adoption journey! We are thrilled to share our decision to adopt Milena, a 14 year old teenager from Bulgaria. Melissa and I had thought that we were going to be empty nesters when our youngest daughter, Sarah, recently graduated from high school. But, God has a different plan for us. God truly does work in mysterious and wonderful ways. It started with Melissa making a drastic career change, leaving education after 25 years and joining Lifeline Children’s Services. it was because of this career move that Melissa was introduced to Milena’s “waiting child” adoption file. God really spoke to her heart to adopt Milena. We discussed it and prayed about it. Milena’s story is tragic and heartbreaking like every child who is waiting to be adopted. Milena has never known what it is like to be part of a family. She has spent all of her life in foster care or, more recently, in an orphanage. If Milena remained in the orphanage and aged out, she would be put out on the streets and most likely fall victim to sex trafficking. Milena will probably be 15 by time our adoption goes through. But that has not dissuaded us from wanting Milena to become part of our family. While we had prayed to God to make sure this is what He was calling us to do, He had answered our prayer when we heard a sermon that in biblical times once someone was adopted into a family they could never be disowned. God had answered our prayers and we wanted to be obedient to adopt Milena. She will always be our daughter and part of our family.

Our adoption journey continues. We are about half-way through the process, but there is still so many challenges ahead. International adoption is expensive and we are in need of help raising additional funds to complete Milena’s adoption. We are asking for your financial support to help bring Milena home.

Lifesong for Orphans and Saving Street Children have graciously provided a matching grant for every dollar that is donated to our adoption up to $9000. Please join us in our journey to adopt Milena into our family. May God’s favor and blessing be upon you!


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 “Kowieski 09847”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, 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.
  • *3.5% fee for donations given with an American Express card
Read more

Light at the End of the Tunnel

June 10, 2022

It has been a little over two months since our last update. In that time we had our first Zoom call with Rebekah (Milena) on May 13th, about six weeks since we left Bulgaria. By the end of the Zoom call we learned that Rebekah was feeling despair about the adoption process because other kids at her school had told her their adoptions had failed. The Zoom call ended very emotionally.

We had our second Zoom call with Rebekah today. This call was very different than the first because we had also learned prior to the Zoom call that Rebekah’s adoption hearing in Bulgaria is set for June 17th. Praise God! We have been waiting for this day since we started this journey. It seems like it has been longer than 12 months since we started our adoption of Rebekah (Milena). After the court date it will be between 5-6 weeks to travel and pick Rebekah up and bring her home. 

Now we are counting down to the day we can travel. We are in the home stretch. We appreciate your prayers and financial support to bring Rebekah home.

 

 

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Bulgaria Trip/Meeting Milena

April 2, 2022

God is so great!! We had our first trip to Bulgaria to meet our daughter (Milena). It happened so quickly that we had to travel within a week of being notified that we could travel to meet her. Needless to say, we were extremly nervous because we did not know what to expect since we had never done anything like this before. Lifeline Children Services and their partner organization in Bulgaria, FNA (Family National Agency), were absolutely fantastic in helping us prepare for the trip and assisting us while in country. Petya from FNA was with us the whole time and helped in every way to make the trip and visit with Milena enjoyable and an amazing experince for all of us. Bulgaria is a beautiful country with friendly people. We were treated with kindness and respect during our stay in Sofia and in Levski.

This was the first time that we had an opportunity to talk with Milena. When we arrived at the social service office in Levski they brought her in to meet us for the first time. We were ALL so nervous, but within minutes of hugs and getting the chance to sit down and talk with her (through the interpreter) it was confirmed in all our hearts that she was meant to be part of our family. We spent the whole week bonding with her, which was beyond what we had expected. We even had the chance to have FaceTime calls with Noah, Joshua, and Sarah during the week.  We did a lot of walking aournd the village, playing card games, and drawing/coloring.  We ate lunches together, which the food there was incredible!!!  The week went by too quickly and we found ourselves having to say a very teary goodbye to Milena. It was one of the most difficult things that we had to do. 

It will take around 4 – 6 months before we are able to go back to bring her home.  Until then, we will be allowed monthly Zoom meetings.  We took many pictures and were able print them out so Milena would have them to look at and remember all of the memories we made while there.  

The next 4-6 months will be filled with preparing for Milena to come home. We have many fees to still pay, we will need to decorate her room and purchase clothing and other needs.  God has blessed us each step of the process and we are so thankful for the support and prayers of everyone who is making this journey with us. Glory to God!

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Meeting Milena

March 15, 2022

Approximately ten months ago we began our journey of increasing our family with the decision to adopt Milena, a 13-year old teenager living in an orphanage in Bulgaria. Milena is now 14. Since the adoption process began we have not been able to have contact with Milena. Which is understandable since we had to be approved by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice to adopt Milena. Last week we had posted the update about receiving the referral letter indicating our approval by the Ministry of Justice. This brought us exciting news and it made us anxious to hear when we could travel to finally meet Milena. We have finally received news that we can travel. We have made our travel arrangements and are looking forward to meeting Milena.

It is an understatement to say we are nervous with traveling half-way around the world, not to mention meeting Milena. 

Please pray for safe travels and for our adoption of Milena. Especially that the adoption process continues with haste so that Milena does not spend one more day in the orphanage than necessary.

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Milena Adoption Update

March 8, 2022

We finally received word last week that we received or inscription letter from the agency in Bulgaria indicating that we are registered as adoptive parents. This is huge news for us because it allows us to be on the referral list as adoptive parents. For those who do not know, and as we have been learning, international adoption can be characterized as “red light….green light.” With this new information we are preparing for our first travel visit to Bulgaria. Up to this point we have not been able to communicate back and forth with Milena. As you may imagine we are excited about finally being able to meet Milena; not to mention we are nervous about traveling internationally. Please keep us in your prayers. As always, we are thankful for your support and encouragement.

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Comments

$100

Hidden

Jun 13, 2022

“Praying for safe travels”

$3,500

Gayla

Apr 6, 2022

“Love💗”

$50

Judy Van Durme

Apr 2, 2022

“I am so very proud of you.”

$100

Deborah

Mar 20, 2022

$200

Scott and Kelly

Mar 6, 2022

$100

deb

Feb 2, 2022

$100

deb

Jan 4, 2022

“Praying!!!! Love, Deb and Tom”