Her Name Was Elena–from Jean and John

I met Jean at a conference I spoke at in Mesa, Arizona in October 2011.  She was eager to speak to me and share her story.

This adoption experience is truly unique in that their adopted daughter’s announcing dream came years after the child was already born, which in this case was perfect timing.

From Jean, as she wrote it:

We have 4 children, all of them adopted. I have always felt that they were ours, even if their method of getting to us was a little unconventional.

In 1994 we felt it was time to seek more children, and felt the spirit of the Lord prompting us that we needed to adopt from Russia. We discovered that doors for adoption from Russia were limited, and there were only three agencies which were still able to get children out of Russia.

Foreign adoptions are extremely complicated and backlogged in red tape. However, we had been working on the paperwork for many months and we were now ready to submit our application with a new agency that could work with Russia. After all the paperwork was done, the actual assignment was surprisingly quick. Within a month, we were scheduled to fly to Russia to adopt a three-year-old boy.

Just a couple weeks before we were to fly, I had a dream about a little girl, and the message was that we also needed to adopt her. [In the dream] I saw her in the Russian orphanage playing with the little boy we were going to adopt. Her name was Elena. She had long brown hair, worn in braids, and looked to be about six or seven.

When adopting from Russia we were told to bring little toys and candy not only for the child we were adopting, but also for the other orphanage children; and also to bring clothes, because they would leave only with the clothes on their back. I was so sure that things would work out and that we would be able to adopt this additional girl that I bought clothes and toys for her, too. I also had our child’s passport permission changed to show that we could bring home two children instead of just the boy for whom we had papers.

Before leaving for Russia, I had a blessing in which I was told that the dream about Elena was of God and that “hearts would be softened and doors would be opened” so that we could bring this daughter home with us.

When we got to Russia, the orphanage told us that there were no girls for adoption who fit my description. However, as an afterthought, the head matron said, “Well, there is one little girl. Her name is Alona” (English equivalent, Elena). She was the only girl in the orphanage with long hair. As a practice in the orphanage, all the children had shaved heads or very short hair to control head lice. However, Elena’s caretaker took a personal interest in her; she washed and braided her hair every day, and then wrapped it on her head. She was 7 ½ years old.

Several children were brought to the “play room” at once because other people were also there to adopt. I recognized the room from my dream and when Elena and Sergey started to play with each other despite their age difference, I felt comforted that things would work out.

When we asked about adopting Elena, the response was, “I don’t know. It’s never been done; there is paperwork you know that must be done!” We had no paper work for Elena but truly doors were opened and hearts were softened. When we left Russia ten days later, Elena was with us!


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