One beautiful summer day, I received a phone call from my mother, telling me that my cousin was pregnant. My cousin is deaf and has other special needs. She did not want to be pregnant and did not feel she was ready to parent. My aunt was very upset and called my mother to ask if my husband and I wanted to adopt the baby.

I never knew I wanted a child so badly until that moment. I had a hysterectomy at a very young age due to endometriosis and was OK with not having children. Or so I thought.

That adoption fell through. My cousin changed her mind and I was happy for her, but heartbroken for myself.

My husband encouraged me to seek out other adoption plans. I started by looking in the phone book and called the few agencies listed there.

The only agency I even considered was Adoption STAR. I immediately felt comfortable talking with the receptionist. I was confident in her knowledge and it was very easy to talk with her. I know I was crying and she accepted all of my emotions and put me at ease.

So we started with plans for a domestic adoption. We finished the classes and made our scrapbook. I never said a word to anyone, but I kept thinking International Adoption was something I wanted to do, specifically China.

Finally, after many long months, I told my husband that I didn’t feel comfortable with the adoption plan we had made and I wanted to adopt from China. I wanted a girl.

So, we switched gears and Adoption STAR was there for us every step of the way. We had to convert our paperwork and generate a whole lot more.

After about a year of waiting, we went to China and met Janie. I knew immediately she was meant to be our daughter. I can’t explain it. I’m not an overly religious person, but I know that God, fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it, led us to her.

Nine months and a week after my desire to adopt was conceived on a beautiful summer day, Jian’Ai – the Chinese name for Janie – was born, half a world away.