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Victoria resident writes about adoption, what her mother means to her

By JR Ortega
May 11, 2014 at 12:11 a.m.

Katie Gordon Saenz, 28, takes a photo with her mother, Jeanne Gordon, and Saenz's daughter, Ruby Elizabeth Saenz.

"My mother is special because she didn't meet me until I was 13 months old."

The opening of Katie Gordon Saenz's Mother's Day essay is enough to make people stop, reflect and then continue reading.

Saenz and her twin sister, Elizabeth Gordon-Canlas, 28, were fostered and then adopted by their mother, Jeanne Gordon, and father, Mike Gordon. Their parents live in Columbus, Ohio, where they were raised, but Saenz's love stretches across the states.

"Since I've become a mother, it's really affected me," said Saenz, who now has a 9-month-old daughter, Ruby Elizabeth Saenz, with her husband, Aaron Saenz. "Becoming a mom makes me reflect a lot on the way she mothered us."

Saenz, of Victoria, and her twin sister as well as their parents' three biological kids grew up in a loving family home, she said.

Saenz said she has never felt adopted - her mom is her mom, and her siblings are her siblings, plain and simple.

She and her sister have even spoken on panels, discussing the importance of adoption and fostering.

"We always liked to put the story out there," she said. "It was always kind of an ongoing, progressive talk."

Saenz and her sister decided to meet their biological mom at age 17, and the meeting was "life-changing," she said.

Jeanne Gordon said she felt honored that her daughter would write an essay about what she means to her.

"They've just both been a blessing and a delight," she said of the twins. "We just love all our kids to pieces."

Gordon and Saenz said their memories together are very family-centered. Growing up in a home with five kids made vacations difficult, but it is the small moments, Saenz said, like cooking in the kitchen and family talks, that keep the bond strong across state lines.

"I hope for my children to respect me and honor me the way we now respect our mother," Saenz said. "It was always in a loving way that she parented us."

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