One of the things an Odessa, Texas couple desired most, they couldn't have, children. Then, an answer to prayer. "Dad called her and said, 'Ruthie meet me at my attorney's office we're getting a baby.'"
They named her Jan. Today the people in Longview know her as Jan Maynard. "Momma said, and I'll never forget this, that I had little red curls and little white checks. She just said it was the most wonderful thing ever," explains Jan as her eyes fill with tears.
Jan was just 1 day old when she was adopted. It all happened so quickly her parents didn't even have time to get a baby crib. So, she spent her first night in a dresser drawer on a blanket.
As Jan was growing up, she always knew she was adopted, or chosen as they told her. "You know how kids can be cruel like at slumber parties saying you were left on the door step and just things like that, but it never really bothered me because I knew how much my parents loved me. They afforded me a wonderful life. An education. A home and stability." Jan goes on to say, "I think they are just the best parents I could ever have!"
Jan moved to Longview in 1991 and works at Patterson Nissan. Among many things, she's best known for helping to develop the "Hands on a Hard Body" contest.
Jan credits her success to her adoptive parents. "Mom and dad instilled in me good values, work hard, be honest, have initiative, have drive, love a lot, and laugh a lot."
Jan listened to her adoptive parents and has achieved many accomplishments. Included on the long list: She was honored as one of the "Regional Stars over Longview," was President of the Junior League of Longview, Chair of the "Great Texas Balloon Race" and "Alleyfest" and is a mentor through the "Longview Drug Task Force."
Jan says, "It's not something I do to get a pat on the back. It's very rewarding and precious to me to be able to help."
Jan often wondered if she had any biological siblings. She did some checking and found out she has a brother who lives in Arizona. "Right here in my kitchen my phone rang one night and this man said, 'Is this Jan Mayard?' and I said, 'Yes it is.' And he said, 'I've waited 48 years to say this, I love you, sis!'"
Her brother made the trip to Longview to meet his long lost sister. One of a long string of wonderful memories, all started by the Gift of Love.
"I feel very fortunate that Ruthie and Marion Adams were my parents. But I feel even more fortunate that there is a process in place, called adoption. I want to thank them for loving me and I mean unconditionally."
Gillian Sheridan reporting. firstname.lastname@example.org