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  • LJ And Jimmy Alapag's Adoption Story: It's A Family Even If The Child Didn't Come From You

    The couple recall the ordeal they went through six years ago in their desire to become parents
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
LJ And Jimmy Alapag's Adoption Story: It's A Family Even If The Child Didn't Come From You
PHOTO BY @thelollicakechic
  • In celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month in November, couple Jimmy Alapag and LJ Moreno re-told their own adoption story through a vlog in their YouTube channel. 

    After tying the knot in 2010, the couple didn’t really mind that they haven’t conceived within the first two years of marriage.

    “The first two years was okay, but the third year going into the fourth, people’s good intentions turn into concern. The pressure from family doesn’t make it easier,” coach Jimmy said. Doctors also said he and LJ are both capable of having a child and there was nothing wrong with them. (If you want to read articles on infertility, click here.)

    “For some reason I’ve always had a heart for babies or orphans,” the actress and entrepreneur said. At some point, she convinced Jimmy to consider adopting a child, but that option came with so much heartbreak when they were told that a mistake was made while matching them with a foster baby after months of waiting and anticipating to welcome a child into their home. 

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    LJ continued visiting orphanages not really looking for a child to adopt, but because it was therapeutic for her. At Grace to be Born, a maternity home and nursery, she met a toddler named Ian. “We instantly hit it off,” she remembered.

    However, still hurting from their previous attempt to adopt, Jimmy didn’t warm up to LJ’s idea of meeting with the child. “I just didn’t want to make that connection,” he said. “I’m just going to remove myself from that environment until I could deal with it.”

    Eventually, after praying for it, Jimmy finally agreed to meet the baby. “I meet this kid for the first time, and he gives me a hug, and that was it. I told her that day, whatever we need to do as foster parents, see what we could do about this adoption process.”

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    LJ points out that adopting a child involves a matching process. “You’re not allowed to go to a shelter or orphanage and pick out a child,” she says, but it’s a good thing that Ian was matched to them. 

    The process took over two years, and finally, LJ was told they could bring home their son. 

    “I’ll never forget that day. I was actually leaving for a game. She came and said, ‘You know, we can pick up our son tomorrow,’” an emotional Jimmy recounts. 

    “I’m locked in, getting ready for this game, and she comes in saying, we can pick up our son tomorrow morning. [It was] probably the only time I said, ‘We can screw the game.’

    “I remember that night I played horribly and nobody knew why. The only thing that I could think about was that we were gonna be there at the orphanage right when they open. 

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    “We went there the next morning. [Ian] was already awake. He came running out. Grabbed his bag and gave me a hug. Pointed to the door, like ‘My mom and dad are here to pick me up.’”

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    But the Alapags’ beautiful journey to becoming parents didn’t end there. 

    “December 2013 was a really bad year for us, but God was just teaching us to be patient because He had something bigger for us,” says LJ.

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    “We were praying for one baby, but He ended up blessing us with two. Three days after we took Ian home, I found out I was pregnant with Keona. I gave birth to Keona December 2014. 

    Now parents to three beautiful kids – two of them biological – LJ says, “God has a way of just working things out.”

    Naturally, there were people wondering about the couple’s decision to adopt. 

    “‘Why did you guys decide to adopt?’ People come up to us and say, when you have your own, you’ll realize there is a difference. But I could honestly look you in the face and say, there is no difference. How much we love Keona and Calen is the same kind of love that we have for Ian” says LJ. 

    “You can have a family as long as there is love, where you can love a child like your own, even if that child didn’t come from you.”

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    Watch Jimmy and LJ's vlog entitled “How we became a family” below.

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