She inquired about the toddler. But another family was coming for her. Somewhat inexplicably, Junell was heartbroken. 

“I spent those months feeling like I had been gutted, and simultaneously feeling so silly for feeling that way about a child who was never mine,” she said. “I was grief-stricken to lose the opportunity to get to be her mom.”

A half-year later, however, her half-heart was made whole again: Katya was available. Were the Junells still interested? 

“There was this tiny child who needed a family, and it was simple enough to decide we could be that family,” Junell said. In other words, a resounding yes.