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Adopting an Open Heart

Glendale News-Press,  Nov 11, 2010
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Jeff and Maureen Learned always knew they wanted a large family. So it was a blow when they struggled to conceive after the birth of their first daughter, Shanna.

The couple, who recently moved to Burbank after living in La Crescenta for years, went through seven in vitro fertilization treatments, all of them failures. They began exploring other options, eventually turning to foster parenting and adoption.

Less than four years later, their household has grown from three to seven. In addition to Shanna, 11, the Learned family now includes Connor, 6, Lacey, 6, Mia, 3, and Jemma, 2. And they are open to more children, Maureen Learned said.

"Now I am glad we never got pregnant again," Maureen Learned said. "If we did, our family would look so different. And I like the way it looks."

The Learneds were honored last week by Olive Crest — an agency that contracts with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to provide fostering and adoptive services — for their commitment to their children, and for helping to recruit additional foster parents in communities including Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta and Antelope Valley.

"They are just a spectacular family," said John Andersen, regional director for foster and adoption with Olive Crest.

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