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Hedgesville family celebrates adoption anniversary on Mother's Day

May 12, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Evan (Van) and Nina Ottey celebrated Mother's Day in a special way.

More than 50 people were invited to help them celebrate the one-year anniversary of their three daughters' adoptions. 

In May 2007, the Otteys became the parents of three children from Colombia, South America -- Karen, 12, Alejandra, 11, and Laura, 9, and brought them home to Hedgesville. 

The sisters were living in foster care in Zipaquira, a town near Bogata, Van Ottey said.     

The Otteys worked with Children's Hope International in Oregon, Van Ottey said.

After completing a lot of paperwork, they met their children in Zipaquira and lived together in an apartment.  

The Otteys knew enough Spanish to get by, Nina Ottey said. 

After more paperwork, Van Ottey brought the children home, he said. 

"We enjoy having kids around and we wanted to provide a good home," Van Ottey said.  

"God orchestrated it," said Nina Ottey. 

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The Otteys have three grown children of their own -- Jason, 27, David, 25, and Michelle, 20. David and Michelle Ottey still live at home.  

David Ottey works with his dad at his excavation company.

He said, "You guys are crazy," when he heard three girls were chosen to be adopted. 

Michelle Ottey said she always wanted younger brothers and sisters, "so I was excited when they arrived," she said.   

The Otteys are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Charles Town (W.Va.), Nina Ottey said, and are vegetarians. 

"Diet was an issue for a couple of weeks," she said. "Karen misses chicken." 

Now they each have a favorite food, Van Ottey said. Karen loves instant mashed potatoes, Alejandra's favorite is real mashed potatoes, she said, and Lauren likes the Chinese food her mother makes. 

The girls slept together in the same bed for a couple of weeks when they arrived, Nina Ottey said. 

"They share a bedroom, but each wants her own room," she said. 

The girls are healthy, she said, and they are very fluent in English, Nina Ottey said.  

The sisters are home-schooled, just as the older children were, she said. They have developed a routine with school, chores and play. Each has her own best friend. 

"It's one day at a time," Nina Ottey said. 

Her Mother's Day gift from the girls was "a hug and a kiss and handpicked flowers from the yard," she said.

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