By her own admission, Alanna’s raison d’être was work. Throughout her 20s and 30s she enjoyed a highly successful career as a finance lawyer, effortlessly climbing the corporate ladder at Allen & Overy and moving from her native Vancouver to financial hubs of Tokyo and London. She was a workaholic and often stayed in the office late into the night, which somehow became a habit for a successful but single lawyer living away from home.
Yet ever since she was 20, Alanna has been thinking of adopting a child. By the time she turned 40, she suddenly realised that her good intentions had remained just that… She was financially well off, she had wonderful friends and a good life but something was missing.
Alanna contacted an adoption agency in 2009. She went through a gruelling, emotionally testing 12-month process, applying to adopt as a single parent. Finally, in late 2010 she received a call from the agency about a potential match.
Two weeks later Alanna flew to St. Petersburg in Russia. At that time Russia allowed single parent adoption, and the country’s orphanages were full of abandoned Asian kids.
Alanna took Roza to Britain in April 2011, soon after her 1st birthday. Roza Lee lives in London. Yesterday she had her first trapeze lesson. She is a delight not only to her mother but to everyone who meets her, as she seems to be the happiest and most cheerful girl ever.
“It is a cliché”, says Alanna, “but having a child changes your life”. “Within a couple of months of having Roza, my friends said to me that I looked happy. I could not believe it. Have I been a grumpy cow before I had Roza? But I think they are right. I became … softer, my values have changed. Roza did change my life.”