Born to a young couple unaware of what life had in store for them.
Parental rights surrendered and placed in foster care awaiting a sibling’s birth.
A search for a family who would take her and her newborn brother began.
Finally, on February 13, 1953, the day arrived when the door to the foster care home was closed behind her for the last time. That was the day she said goodbye to her brother, then 7 months old.
Let’s back up and begin again …
Born a coal miner’s daughter … and, no, we’re not talking about Loretta Lynn although their beginnings may have been quite similar. The teenaged mother was in love with a man who was married to someone else. But, don’t think for a minute that this love-child was a mistake … God had a plan for little Mary Louise Dugger-Stockwell born in a small apartment above the General Store in a coal mining town deep in a West Virginia mountain holler.
On February 13, 1953, John and Mildred Bosch became proud parents of a 21-month old feisty little girl; the adoption became final a year later, legally changing Mary Louise’s name to Janet Lynn Bosch, forever (or seemingly so) erasing from history any and all ties to her biological family. No longer a coal miner’s daughter. No longer an orphan. No longer pitied. Adopted by loving parents who raised her to love and honor God through this journey called life.
Through the years, Jan experienced the many facets of the adoption experience which she shares openly for the benefit of others considering adoption. For instance,
Jan was adopted as a child;
She grew up with adopted friends and families who were involved in the adoption community;
Her parents adopted another child who became her non-biological brother;
After years of childlessness and unexpectedly becoming parents of 3 small children, Jan and her husband, Ron, adopted 2 pre-teen siblings with special needs. About a year later, they adopted a teenaged boy with special needs;
Unfortunately, when a 4th child was placed with the family, the placement failed (the young teen had multiple physical and emotional problems which didn’t work well with the other 6 children);
Because their adopted children were considered special needs, they had ongoing experience with social services, the foster care system, children’s homes, and adoption advocacy groups. Jan often spoke to prospective adoptive parents sharing the challenges of adopting older and special needs children.
As an adult, Jan searched for and was reunited with her biological mother and half-siblings and worked through some difficult and unexpected challenges;
Once their adopted children were older, they were reunited with biological families. Jan shares the good, the bad and the ugly of it all from the perspective of both an adoptee and an adoptive parent;
Jan put on her detective hat and searched for and was reunited with her full biological brother from whom she was separated when she was placed for adoption. He was adopted by a family and raised about 20 miles away from her; he led a very troubled life; and finally …
After decades of searching for any information, she located her biological father’s family and learned more of the story, solving the final mystery which had gone unanswered for more than 60 years. A reunion with her half-siblings is pending as of the date of writing.
Of course, there’s much more to the adoption story. Jan has written both fiction and non-fiction stories and testimonies unveiling the heart of adoption from her many experiences as both an adoptee and an adoptive parent. Some of the stories can be found below as she experienced a myriad of miracles and heartaches, victories and failures related to adoption. It is from her experience that she can candidly share with perspective adoptive parents about the challenges they will face as they enter into this unique relationship with a child desperate for their love.
Jan wants every adoptive parent (including those in the beginning stages of considering the challenge) to understand that the adoption experience was birthed in the heart of God long before they reached out to love a parentless child as their own. As Christians, we are adopted into the family of God through relationship with Jesus Christ and it is faith in Him that enabled Jan and her husband to embrace their children, both biological and adopted, with equal measures of love and compassion.
To learn more or to talk to Jan about sharing with your adoption group or organization, please contact her directly here. She will be thrilled to open her heart to your friends, family and colleagues and share the realistic expectations and challenges that go along with adoption.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”