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Letters from a home she’s never been

Today we sat down to write our “welcome” letter. It was a pre-formatted short introduction that will be given to Alina directly before she boards the plane. This will be the first contact we have been allowed. This letter I have been waiting months to write, I edit and reword over and over so that I may pack every word full of meaning and love. Our first contact that begins the cascade of life changing events for this sweet orphan.

Right now we are preparing to paint Ollie’s bedroom so the bunk beds can be moved in. Ollie will be gaining two room mates, and we will start preparing Alina’s room. We ordered her a desk, new mattress, and desk lamp. As we get ready for her arrival the excitement is building. Jake is starting to plan a belated birthday party, the first she’ll ever have. What sweet souls we have living here.

In Ukraine Alina is going through her normal rituals. She gets up and puts on the clothes the orphanage gave her for the day. She files in to eat the same bland meal day after day. She has by now an idea she has been selected to travel,  as she’s being processed for her passport, but she has no details. She doesn’t know what place she’s traveling to. She has no idea what the family will be like. She has no idea what to expect as she nears the first plane and train ride of her life. She has no mother to ease her worries as the fear sets in of the unknown. Will they be nice to me? Will it be warm? Will I be safe? She has no idea. She will wake up one day in June, she will be ushered out of her orphanage for the first time since she can remember and she will be handed a passport and a welcome letter with one photo of our family. This will be the first time she has a glimpse of what the summer holds for her.

Tomorrow is Alina’s 14th birthday. She will not be celebrating. Tomorrow will be a day like any other, one day closer to the dreaded 16th birthday when she will be discharged from the orphanage to the streets. One day closer to the future unknown.

Tomorrow we will be one day closer to Alina’s arrival. Tomorrow we will hold her in our thoughts all day. Tomorrow we will continue to scramble with intense excitement as the flight information is due to be released. Tomorrow I will shuffle my children through eye appointments and dental appointments, and whisper to the universe to send Alina hope. Soon she will be here, soon she will have a warm hug of a mother, and will visit the dentist and eye doctor for her very first time.

We are getting closer to giving Alina a little hope, and I’m so excited. We are so thankful for all the donations to help get Alina here. We are $1,400.00 to meet hosting fees and still need all your help with sharing and talking about our story!



Letter Enclosed:

Dear Alina,

We are so excited to meet you! We are Howe Family. Our names are Stephanie and Ted.

We live in Auburn, Maine and we have five children. Their names are Bella (13yrs) Lori (11yrs) Jake (6yrs) Millie (4yrs), Ollie (2yrs).

We also have a black dog named Josie. Do not fear her, she has a lot of energy but is very friendly. We also have a black cat named President Business.

Ted is a Computer Programmer and he likes to cook in the kitchen. Stephanie is a nurse and she likes to go to the beach, and sew. Together as a family we enjoy playing piano, roller skating, swimming, cooking, and gardening.

We are excited to spend the Summer together and get to know you! We can go to the lake, ocean, and pool, cook, see fireworks, go to the big city to see the aquarium, and visit new places. We have a house with a yard and playground and trampoline, and lots of bikes and roller skates. You will have your own room right next to Lori’s room. We think you will have a lot of fun this summer.

We look forward to seeing you and hope you have a safe trip to the USA!

Sincerely, The Howe Family

Our Most Recent Birthday Hat Wearers:

Much love,

Steph <3