Sophomore celebrates her 15th ‘gotcha day’ with adoptive family

Though she was too young to make a memory of where she was born at the time of her adoption, sophomore Maya Johnson celebrated her 15th “gotcha day” during the end of October as a member of the Johnson family, who adopted Maya all the way from Behai, China. Maya is now 16 years old. 

Pamela Johnson, Maya’s mother, never really felt the need to conceive her own biological baby. Her husband, Jeff, and she had always considered adoption from the beginning of their marriage. “I always wanted a family but never had the desire to be pregnant to give birth to my own child. I always sort of felt like I was strange or unusual because of that,” she said, “but now I think maybe God made me that way because he knew May would be needing a family. We sponsored a child from China when we were first married, and we were both drawn to China immediately and didn’t even consider anything else. Jeff was completely on board as well and actually saw adoption as a better way to make a family because we’d be helping a child in need,” Pamela said.

Maya said she is very thankful for her family. “I am so grateful God drew my parents to adoption. I love my family more than anything, and I am grateful for who I have met because of the opportunity of being adopted,” Maya said. 

“Maya was in an orphanage before we adopted her. We don’t know much about her life before she was there. Thankfully, we do know that the orphanage was one of a few that are run by an organization called ‘One Sky,’” Pam said. “This means that she got responsive care from trained nannies in their infant nurture center at the orphanage. I did write to them after returning home with her, and they sent me reports that they did on her detailing her growth and progress while staying there.”

Maya said she does not know much of her Chinese heritage, but she is grateful for her life in America. 

She and her family also shared how there were six other girls adopted at the same time as her, and all of their families call them “the Beihai Sisters,” and all of them lived in the same orphanage. 

Maya said that she does not stay in touch with her Beihai Sisters as much as when she was younger, but that they will also always have a special place in her heart.

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