Doug and Deanne Walker have 19 children, 10 of whom are adopted. These loving parents have been up and down and all around adoption and seem to me to be an endless bucket of adoption knowledge and wisdom. On top of that, the Walkers are welcoming, inviting, and friendly! This series of articles (watch for them on Tuesdays and Fridays from now on) covers everything from being an organized home executive to failed adoptions to finding the right agency. So as you read, imagine taking a comfortable spot on Deanne’s sofa as she openly shares her insight into each topic.
Olivia has gone through more in her 13 years than most of us experience in our entire lifetimes. Born in India to a single mother (at a time when it was illegal to be a single mother), she was hidden away for six months. Then someone turned her mother in to the police and Olivia was taken away and placed in an orphanage in another village. Three years later, Olivia was adopted by an American family. Her abuse started while still in India and continued for the next four years in her adopted home. At a place where she should have felt welcomed, loved, and safe, Olivia was constantly abused. She was regularly told she wasn’t wanted; that she was stupid; that she didn’t fit in. At seven years of age, Olivia’s adopted family made the decision to disrupt her adoption. She spent the next two years bouncing around until she finally made it to her home . . . her real home.
Doug and Deanne Walker are amazing parents in so many ways. They’ve taught Olivia what they know to be true: Olivia has had a long, arduous, painful journey. But she’s now home. She is loved and wanted, and her past does not define her. Olivia’s good parents have taught her that all that she has experienced, while hurtful, can help her to become her very best self. And as she continues to grow in every way, who she is will lead her to help others along life’s journey.
The Walker family is remarkable. This is due, in part, to Doug and Deanne – the parents. But it is also because each member of this family is remarkable on their own. Olivia is no exception!
More from the Walkers: