Often people say, "Oh, you did such a good job with Jada! She wouldn't be where she is if it was not for you guys!" but the truth? If Jada wasn't a fighter, she would not be where she is today. From the day she was born, she fought to not only survive, but to truly shine. It is her own zest for life, her own inner strength and the drive to do better that brought her to where she is. Sure, we gave her opportunities, tools and plenty of love but if she didn't have that drive, she would just simply exist.

She was born under 2 pounds with a long list of health problems. She had a heart defect, she was not able to eat, she was underweight, she had low muscle tone, she was barely breathing on her own, and the placenta was all dried up, meaning she was developing in the womb with minimal nutrition. She had a heart surgery, G-Tube inserted, and not able to leave the hospital for months. She had all those odds against her and guess what? She lived.

First two years of her life was tough. She was neglected to point where she was only 12 pounds when she was two years old. She was severely malnourished and at this point in her life, all she could do was stare at a wall all day long and not move. She was not able to sit up, roll, crawl or walk. She had no words. But guess what? She lived.

Next two years of her life, she moved from foster home to foster home. Although she did not have a stable, loving home where she could truly begin to develop loving relationships, she slowly gained weight (through g-tube), began to move around and learned how to communicate her needs through behaviour. She also began to smile, to cry, to get angry, to scream in excitement and to engage in various of activities. Guess what? She didn't only live but began to thrive.

At age of 3 years and 10 months, she met us. Her new mommy and daddy. Her forever family. When she first came home, she was able to show moods, to gesture, to sit up, roll, crawl and walk (in her own special way!) but she still had to learn how to eat, how to communicate through ASL, how to go to bathroom, and most important of all, how to be in a loving relationship. There was not a single day where she did not want to learn. There was not a single moment wasted. She was on the go and really wanted to utilize every opportunity to do more, to be better, to learn. Every single day, every single situation, every single moment, she wanted to understand. This is all her. Every single day, she learned a new sign or two. In matter of weeks, she was potty trained. In matter of months, she was able to eat full meals and slowly became independent from G-Tube. In a year, she truly began to bond with us, to trust us and finally, she knew how to love. Guess what? She thrived.

Today, she's an amazing 7 (going 16) little girl with same zest for life. She's a mommy's girl through and through. She's a gifted artist. She's a loyal friend. She is compassionate, loving, creative, hilarious and wise beyond her years. She loves anything pink. She loves glitter. She has a journal she writes and draws in everyday. She loves to help us cook. She especially loves to clean and keep things organized (you will never see her bedroom messy). She talks non-stop about our trip to USVI last year. She wants to travel to Mexico, Cuba, Kenya and Florida soon. Her favorite classes are art, computer, social science, health and most important part of her day in school is recess. She misses her grandma who "lives with God and does not limp anymore" very much. One day, she would like to be a chef, to marry someone like daddy or marry her best friend, Jaelyn, have two kids ("I am not as crazy as mommy who wants 5 kids" she says), and she wants to buy a house next to mommy and daddy's.

She is definitely a survivor.


07/09/2013 9:44am

A VERY TOUCHING story! Jada is fortunate to have you and you both are fortunate to have her!

07/09/2013 5:48pm

No question. She is a survivor and always will be. She's definitely a shining star, always shining brightly even through a storm. She shines on, and on...

This is absolutely beautiful! You made me cry! I am so blessed to have her in my life, especially be a special part of your lives. Thank you for this opportunity!! Love you all! xoxo

Jess (your creative writing classmate at Gally)
07/25/2013 1:38am

Wrote so beautifully! Jada is very blessing to have you and James as her parents... She is definitely a survivor! Gotta love those saying about getting married to someone like her dad or her best friend Jaelyn. That's the cutest thing she says ever :) It makes me smile :) Keep you all in my thoughts and prayers <><


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