WASHINGTON CITY — When John Lotz was a kid, his brother used to tease him by telling him he was adopted. That hurt his feelings.
“But now I realize that it’s one of the best things in the world to have somebody love you enough to adopt you,” he said.
John Lotz and his wife Vanessa Lotz know all about having love to share with a child. The Washington couple tried for eight years to start a family of their own without success. Vanessa Lotz has a medical condition that makes conception very difficult. So they looked for another way to build their family.
John Lotz was cleaning out the car one day when he came across a business card for the Utah Foster Care Foundation.
“That was Plan B,” he said.
John and Vanessa Lotz dove into the process of becoming foster parents, taking classes and studying at home until they were licensed to care for kids in need of a safe, loving home.
At about the same time, a little girl named Lily was facing an uncertain future. She had moved from foster care into an adoptive family and now she was being returned to the foster care system after three years in what should have been her permanent home.
Luckily for Lily, Ben Ashcraft at the state Foster Care Foundation knew just the right place for this little girl to call home. Ashcraft called John and Vanessa Lotz and said, “There’s this girl I want you to meet.”
“It’s totally changed our lives, I mean, for the better, knowing we helped out a little girl who needed a family,” John Lotz said. “She helped us out because we needed a child.”
It didn’t take long for all of them to know that they were a natural fit for each other.
“I think one of the happiest times, I think maybe the second day she was in our family, she called me Daddy,” John Lotz said, tearing up. “I didn’t expect it right away. I thought it would take a few months — who knows how long? — but when that came out of her mouth, it was one of the proudest moments of my life, that I’ve accomplished this.”
The couple fostered Lily for six months and then adoption proceedings began. It turns out the Lotz family was growing faster than even they knew as Vanessa Lotz found out a few weeks later that at last she was pregnant with her son, John Lotz Jr. Doctors told her later she had likely conceived the same week they adopted Lily.
“So it was two miracles in one,” John Lotz said.
It’s been four years since this double-blessing has been bestowed on the Lotz family and in a recent interview Lily, now 12, and her parents couldn’t stop smiling.
“I’ve been trying to convince John to become foster parents again and maybe adopt one more,” Vanessa Lotz said.
Lily Lotz has found the home she was looking for and has blossomed. Last year, she wrote and published a children’s book, “Super Cats Save the Day.”
November is National Adoption Month and the Lotz family wants to encourage anyone who longs for family to consider adopting through the foster care system.
“You have the kids out there who need a home and loving place,” Vanessa Lotz said. “If you have love in your heart, there’s always room for more children or even if you don’t have children to bring a child into your family. It just makes your life so much better.”
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