Hey everyone it is already November 6th! I mean that’s just crazy! I am so excited to announce that I surpassed my goal of $200 to raise for ! I raised $350 in just 4 days, so thank you all for your love and support! It truly means the world to not only me, but all families and children you are helping. The money raised will go directly to families who are in the process of adoption. It directly helps to pay for the prices involved because in America, it collectively costs about $39,996 to adopt domestically (American Adoptions). I also wanted to acknowledge that it’s only 6 days into November, so there is sooo much more to do and I cannot wait to get to it! Ok, now that I gave you all a progress update, it’s time for an adoption spotlight! 

I am so excited to be sharing Julia Breneman’s adoption story with you all! I had the privilege of talking with her and let me tell you, her future's so bright and she’s even brighter! I really love this story because it touches on the core values of family and stability adoption provides and I think you guys will really love it. So, with that being said, here is her story about being internationally adopted!

On January 2nd, 2002, Julia was boring in Mixco, Guatemala, a city in south central Guatemala. This city was not necessarily the safest because of its high rates in crime and drugs. Her birth mom was young when she had her, so Julia lived with a host family. However, due to financial difficulties, they could not keep Julia and chose adoption to give her a better life. That was the time when her adoptive/real parents were looking to adopt. They chose Guatemala because it was a small country and would be unique to adopt there. On her father’s birthday, they received the long awaited call informing them that Julia was available for adoption. After 8 months in Guatemala, Julia was adopted on September 2nd of 2002. 

Ever since, Julia has lived with her family that she truly loves and she emphasized that so much throughout our phone call! It really just pulls at the heartstrings to see such a loving family built through adoption. 

Of course along the way, Julia faced some challenges being adopted. Specifically, in science class one year, they had that project where you learned about recessive and dominant genes, so now you had to see what traits you got from your parents to apply this new knowledge. Although it’s a project we all do, it is actually really hard for adoptees; especially for Julia during that time because she didn’t know anything about her birth parents. Her best friend, Skylar was also adopted so they were able to get through the awkward school projects together. She is proud to say that they still have each other’s backs now and that it’s nice to have other people who understand adoption at the same level as you. Also I have to mention that during this time she got her ADORABLE DOG BO! He eased her during these hard times and helped her get through them in addition to her huge support system being her. Another obstacle Julia faces from time to time is explaining adoption to people. There’s people who just don’t understand what it means and sometimes it feels awkward answering their questions, but Julia said that deep down she knew that her adoptive parents were her real parents so all the questions people asked didn’t change the fact that she had a family. 

Now, Julia is committed to play field hockey at St. Francis University- a District 1 college on a generous scholarship! She has been a part of various leadership conferences where she has demonstrated her skills too. She is currently a senior in high school and finished up her final year of high school field hockey! Now, she has a secret dream that she wants to open her own taco truck and call it “Taco to me nice.” She plans to to major and business marketing or business management with a minor in Spanish and aviation. Julia said that she wants to adopt children when she is older after having some of her own(She wants to have about 4). She would be interested in adopting from Guatemala, but would mainly adopt from a country going through hard situations. She said that adopting from those countries helps the children and the country out overall and being able to do that is an opportunity to give back. Since she is adopted, Julia has been able to spread awareness about adoption among her friends and anyone she meets. In doing this, she is making a difference in her own group of friends and the world! 

Julia said that “without adoption who knows where I could have ended up, since Guatemala is known for their gangs, she could have been a part of one on the streets.” Luckily, adoption gave her the family and life that would give her the act opposite of that.

She has always known that she was adopted because of the visual factors and the corny picture frames with those sayings we all know we love. Also, she gets to rage to her brothers that she was the “chosen one,” and honestly, us adoptees can all relate to that ;). She said that she is so grateful she was adopted because it helped appreciate the little things in life like being able to play music in her car on the way to school and having a dog that can come inside. She says that being adopted opened her eyes to what her life could have been and what it is now. If she were to ever have a conversation with her birth mom, she would want to know if she has any siblings and her morals are. She said that her brothers and parents are so noble and she is interested as to how should would have been brought up compared to how she is now. It’s the idea of touching on the whole Nurture vs. nature aspect of adoption. 

Leading into that, she loves her adoptive family especially her brothers! She said that he parents and brothers built her character to who she is today because they demonstrated their hard work ethics to achieve their goals. Her brothers Grant and Adam are extremely athletic and seeing them work hard in sports and to reach their professions motivated her to get that D1 scholarship. Her family has always been so supportive in everything she does. She said that they “never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to.” She tried many things from horseback riding to playing the piano. 

Her brothers never teased her for being adopted and always supported her dreams and aspirations. When she was first brought to America, Grant and Adam were extremely excited! In 3rd grade, Adam brought Julia into school for show and tell. Julia had only been in America for a couple of months during that time and he was just so excited to share his new sister with everyone. Her brother Grant jokes saying that since Julia is such a bubbly person who laughs all the time, he can identify her laugh in a crowd of people. Whenever his teammates commented about their physical differences, he was always proud to say that she was his sister.