MPW.65 / Trenton Becoming Sisters by Mallory Benedict
Photographer
Mallory Benedict Charlottesville, Virginia
Team Gilka

Story Summary

Jia and Jemma Stotts, seven and three, have been sisters for only four months. Adopted into a family from Trenton, Mo., the girls were once strangers from two different provinces in China. While family dynamics adjust, the girls are also constantly determining their respective roles as sisters.

Joy and Jack Stotts adopted Jia in 2009 after family friends shared their adoption story with them. Skeptical, the Stotts’ prayed and pondered the potential to add a new member to the family of three biological boys. “In this community, you just don’t [adopt],” says Joy. The Stotts’ are one of two families in the community who have adopted internationally. In May of 2013, they added another addition to the family, three-year-old Jemma. Beloved foremost by their family, the girls have become a staple in the community. Joy hopes that their spirit will open the community’s eyes to the idea of international adoption and diversity.