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My Joy and My Heart
Jan M., an adoptive parent in Houston, Texas
When I faced turning 40, single after 18 years alone, and after trying to adopt in the US as a single parent, I decided to seek out how to become an adoptive parent. My mother and I were best friends and I have a rich, loving heritage from both sides of my parents.
Faith was always instrumental in the family so I wanted to pass that heritage down. When I recommitted to finding a child, within a week, God led me to a woman who helped fund adoptions, and through her to a woman who started an agency to find homes for children in Russian orphanages.
This April will be 8 years since I went to Russia to bring my beautiful daughter home. She was almost 5 and this June she will turn 13. We are active in the Christ Church United Methodist, and Lera (short for Valerya, the Russian version of Valerie) is my joy and my heart. I'm blessed to have found her, and she's blessed to be safe and fully engaged in being an American. God Bless...
On December 23, 1997, Alexandria was placed in my home at the age of 20 months. We instantly bonded and the challenges of being a parent began i.e. diapers and potty training. I describe her as my Christmas present and she has grown and flourished into a beautiful and talented 7 year old with the maturity of a teenager. I can't remember life without Alexandria and I can't believe that this little baby is now a big sister. Yes, Alexandria wanted a sibling and I wanted another child and we were blessed with a new addition.
In August of 2003, Julianna was placed in our home at 4 1/2 years old; she's described as my birthday present. Julianna and Alexandria instantly hit it off and are inseparable. It's amazing to see these two little girls grow so attached to each other and to see how easily Julianna fit into the family dynamics. When asked how Julianna is adjusting all I can say is "She's just happy." She is full of so much love and affection and is truly happy to have a mommy and a sister. My caseworker is amazed ho well adjusted my daughters are and how smooth each placement has been. I can only attribute that to God, my family and friends, and my church. The saying holds true "It takes a village." I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I have been blessed with the adoption of my daughters.
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