FOF Jana’s life changed the day she sat next to a mother and her little adopted Chinese daughter at a café in Nordstrom. Jana was 42, owned a boutique PR agency and was married for 12 years to a successful contractor, eight years her senior. The moment she saw the little girl, she knew she wanted to adopt a Chinese baby, too.
When Jana decides she wants something, she goes after it, she told me. “Patience is not my virtue,” she said. But she didn’t know how her husband, Bill, would react to the news. He was 50 and, like her (at least, up until then), had no interest in having a child.
They had, however, just bought an adorable Pomeranian, so when a friend let the proverbial cat out of the bag and said, “That’s really exciting about the baby,” Bill answered, “Yes, I just love this,” referring to the dog. Jana explained this wasn’t quite the “baby” she had in mind. “Let’s go for it,” he quickly said when he found out the facts.
Fast forward to now, ten years later. Jana and Bill have a beautiful eight-year-old daughter, Emily, who came into their lives when she was six-months old. At a day old, Emily was left at a Chinese post office, so Jana refers to her birth mother as “The Mail Lady.”
The adoption process, which took over two years, was thankfully completed right before China halted adoptions. “When we picked her up, a group of other children came running out in their little matching PJs, but Emily was brought to us with mismatched clothes, without a diaper and all wet,” Jana recalls.
Now a happy, thriving young girl, Emily is an excellent gymnast and lives with her parents and grandmother in a 10,000-square-foot home in Toluca Lake, CA. “Every morning we hear Emily running across the house to see her 80-year-old grandmother, who she calls ‘Yaya,’” Jana said.
“I am a good person. I always want to help people, especially military men,” Jana added. “We’ve traveled with Emily to 38 countries, visiting and giving to orphanages in places like India and Africa. Emily is God’s gift back to me.
“I could not have had a child like this myself.”
Jana is another supreme example of what it means to be FOF.
P.S. Jana remains friends with the mother she sat next to at a café 10 years ago. She and her daughter come to Jana and Bill’s home during the holidays.