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In need of a helping hand

A Newberg family is seeking the community's help after taking in a new daughter

It’s not often that families are asked to adopt a child, but for Nohr and Shafraz Faleel, that’s exactly what happened.

“We weren’t seeking to adopt,” Nohr Faleel said. “We were asked to adopt a child.”

Just eight months ago in February, the Faleel’s flew to Minnesota to bring home their new daughter, Faith.

“She had already been adopted four years ago,” she said. “A series of kind of strange events happened for (the family) and we were asked to take her by kind of family friends.”

Faith, now 10, had been adopted after her mother found herself involved with an ex-convict, leading to an Amber Alert issued for Faith and her eventually being located by police. Photo Credit: SUBMITTED - Expanding family - After finding themselves with a new daughter, Faith, Shafraz (pictured) and Nohr Faleel are still raising money to make the adoption official.

“She was gone for so long it turned into a body recovery,” she said.

Four years later, the family decided they could no longer care for Faith and reached out to old friends now living in Newberg.

“We received a phone call from her grandpa saying the conditions she was living in were very bad and basically she needed to be moved from that,” Nohr Faleel said.

Despite having three boys of their own, the Faleel’s decided adopting Faith was something they needed to do. Two short weeks after receiving that phone call, they were on a plane to get Faith.

“For whatever reason that family chose to homeschool her and had some pretty unique views on parenting. It put her in a unique mindset,” Nohr Faleel said of the Baptist home Faith came from. “It’s like showing someone a box of color crayons for the first time. A whole new world has been opened to her. She’s thrived.”

Faith started public school and now loves going to class.

“She’s very organized,” Shafraz Faleel said. “She’s always prepared for the next day.”

Their new daughter was behind academically — although through hard work has caught up quickly — as well as socially.

Shafraz Faleel said Faith had some misguided views, including believing the peace sign was that of the devil.

“We had to go through all that to correct her,” he said.

Now an avid Katy Perry fan with mostly Hispanic friends — different, Nohr Faleel said, from how Faith had grown up — they are proud of how far she’s come. But the journey is far from over for their family. Currently, they only have power of attorney for Faith, meaning they can’t even legally enroll her on their health insurance.

“How do you insure a child (who was treated) in a sense like she was a pet?” Nohr Faleel said. “Like, here’s a puppy we don’t want anymore.”

They’ve started the adoption process, but it isn’t cheap. Once the yearlong process is completed, fees could top $12,000.

“It’s cool how it’s all come together. I think that’s what’s been fun and exciting to us, but at the same time we still have a real challenge raising these huge funds,” Nohr Faleel said. “Not by any means do we have a lot of money, but our basic needs are covered. Financially and emotionally, it’s been a whirlwind.”

So after seeing friends successfully use GoFundMe to raise money, the Faleel’s decided to give it a try. After just a month, they raised the nearly $3,000 needed to start the process of becoming Faith’s legal guardians.

“No one wants to ask for money, you don’t, but (on GoFundMe) I felt I could do it in a very transparent way,” Nohr Faleel said. “You knew us before, you’ll know us after.”

Shafraz Faleel works for the Newberg School District as a network technician. He said the support from staff has been astonishing.

“We moved from Minnesota (three years ago), so this is a new town for us,” he said. “So to see this support from my staff and people is amazing. It’s unbelievable.”

In addition to the GoFundMe effort, they held a fundraiser garage sale recently selling goods that were donated by school staff and strangers. In two days, the Faleel’s raised $560 toward the legal fees they face.

“We’re amazed at how supportive people have been,” Nohr Faleel said. “We knew we would have to provide for her, and that’s not a problem, it’s just the extra $12,000 in legal fees. We want to thank people and we want to share the positive. There are some negatives to this story, but we don’t want to focus on that. We want to focus on her growth. We feel very blessed and happy to have her.”

The Faleel’s still need about $9,000 to pay for the final adoption over the next year and hope to raise as much as possible through GoFundMe. To view their campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/djm9kk.


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