Paralympic swimmer reflects on meeting her birth family in Russia


Last month, we brought you the story of Jessica Tatiana Long, who was adopted from an orphanage in Russia by an American family when she was one year old. Her birth mother was only sixteen when Jessica was born, and this is what Jessica had to say about her:

I think that [placing me for adoption] was really brave. And I don’t know what I would have done if I was in her situation at sixteen, you know, having this disabled baby that they couldn’t — that they knew that they couldn’t take care of. And I want , I want to tell her that when I see her, you know, if anything, that I have so much love for her, my mom, because she gave me life.

Jessica was born without legs, and her American family was better equipped to provide her with the medical care she would need growing up. Her American family also raised Jessica with a love for sports, especially swimming, which is now her career.

Jessica manifests extraordinary love for both her adoptive and birth families on opposite ends of the world, and during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, Jessica Tatiana was able to travel to her birth place to meet her biological mother for the very first time. She was twenty-one years old.

NBC recently made the footage of Jessica’s meeting available online, and it can be viewed here (Jessica meets her mother around minute 15). After meeting her birth family for the first time, Jessica shared with reporters what the experience was like.

Regarding her first time meeting her mother, Jessica commented:

It was amazing. It was so special. I’ll remember it forever. I just feel so much love towards my family. And I’ll end up leaving Russia with a smile on my face. I have no regret. I believe it was all part of God’s plan. I have only love for my mother for what she did.

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