When Ricki Helfer resigned as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., she gave the standard excuse of wanting to devote more of her life to her family.

Most skeptics doubted her explanation, expecting her to land a plum private-sector job. But Ms. Helfer proved them wrong. She and her husband, banking attorney Michael S. Helfer, on April 18 brought home their adopted son, 1-year-old Matthew Bascom Helfer.

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