Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The 'Parents' Who Break the Mould"

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The 'Parents' Who Break the Mould"

Article excerpt

The photo pressed into Juliette's key fob is of a gorgeous little blonde-haired girl with a stunning smile.

It's April, the adopted baby daughter who came into her life to change it completely.

The happy snap goes everywhere with the single mum, who must now live with the pain of the four-year-old's death.

"April was the best thing that ever happened to me," says 36-year-old Juliette, her blue eyes still burning at the loss.

"Those years she was with me were a joy, the most wonderful of my life.

"It was a challenge at first, but then every day became an adventure.

"It was an absolute privilege to have a child like April.

"People often think it's their right to have a child, but it isn't.

"They are a wonderful gift and I have never loved anyone else in life as I did her."

Juliette's face shines again with that love when she talks about being called 'mummy' for the very first time.

It's special among the million unforgettable memories of the baby who had battled serious heart problems since birth.

She loved her all the more for her resilience and enthusiasm for life, insisting: "Children can teach us such a lot."

Juliette is a warm and pretty single woman filled with common sense and quiet confidence.

She lives in a picturesque cottage in a stunning North Yorkshire dale. Marriage, she shrugs, just hasn't happened.

She made a good career as a village shopkeeper and then ran a cafe.

It was then she decided there was something more she wanted from her future.

Giving up work to look after April was exactly what she was looking for.

"I am amply provided for and come from a close, loving family, but decided what I really wanted in life was a child," she says.

So Juliette became one of those ordinary people who do extraordinary things like adopting a child with special needs.

Years before contacting children's charity NCH she applied to her local authority.

She had seen a TV programme on how Chinese baby girls were being abandoned and left to die. …

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