When Kristen was shown a photograph of a prospective daughter by her adoption case worker, she defied expectations by reacting with love and compassion instead of disgust. The little girl in the picture was Durga, a three-year-old orphan from India who had faced rejection from numerous potential adoptive parents due to her appearance.
Durga had a tragic past – abandoned at birth, she was left in a bush and suffered severe damage to her nose from insects and a dog before being rescued by a policeman.
While many were horrified by Durga’s disfigurement, Kristen immediately felt a deep connection and knew she could provide a loving home for the little girl. Durga now has a new life with Kristen and her eight-year-old adopted sister Munni, also from India.
Years before the adoption, Kristen had begun exploring agencies that dealt with children from Nepal. Being single and determined to fulfill her dream of motherhood, she sought to offer a better life to a child from a less fortunate country. However, when the US suspended adoptions from Nepal, Kristen shifted her focus to India.
It was during this time that she discovered Munni, who had spent a year in an orphanage before Kristen’s adoption process began. Despite the bureaucratic challenges, Kristen developed an immediate bond with Munni and went through two years of paperwork and court processes to make her daughter. Kristen traveled to the orphanage in western India to meet Munni for the first time when she was five years old.
Several months later, Kristen’s case worker informed her about Durga. From the moment Durga was found by the policeman, barely clinging to life, she faced a challenging journey of survival. Severe dehydration and malnutrition made her chances of living slim, but she overcame the odds and eventually recovered fully.
Despite her resilience, Durga remained disfigured, leading to rejections from potential adoptive parents. Weighing just 1lb 3oz and a day old when she arrived at the care center, Durga’s chances of survival seemed uncertain. The staff named her Durga and tried for three years to find a suitable home for her, but several couples turned her down due to her nose.
Fortunately, the care center reached out to a licensed agency for foreign adoptions, and Kristen’s agency recognized that she was the perfect match for Durga. Overwhelmed with emotion, Kristen cried when she saw Durga’s face on her computer screen.
Determined to provide Durga with a loving family, Kristen took eight months off work to help her settle into their new home. Kristen’s parents, sister, and brother-in-law have been tremendous support, embracing Munni and Durga as cherished members of the family.
Kristen, Munni, and Durga now have the opportunity to live a normal life filled with happiness. With support from her parents and sister, who have welcomed Munni and Durga as part of their extended family, Kristen’s heartwarming story is one of a happily ever after.