Deeper Than A Family Tree

After a chance encounter in a California coffee shop, Holt adoptee Nina Davis meets two girls who were adopted from the same care center in India where she lived before she joined her family. Here, she shares what this serendipitous meeting has taught her about adoption and family. NinaDavis

When I was 2 and a half years old, I was adopted from Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), one of Holt’s legacy partner organizations in India. I am now 26 years old and I’ve wanted to share my story for a long time. As time has progressed, I have felt more and more inclined to do so as I experience events that always bring me back to the absolute beauty of adoption. The following is one of many significant experiences that have redirected my confused mind and given me a full heart and passion to work with orphans. Being saved from someone who brought me to BSSK as an abandoned baby to being adopted into a loving family — who cared for me even when I was sick with Malaria when I came home — to now having a relationship with God, I can say that I’ve learned I am not my own. I am just an instrument that is being played and used to advocate for others who need to be loved and nurtured as I have been.

This experience, that I’m about to tell you about, has taught me that God doesn’t ever leave His children behind. At the time that this happened, I had just moved from Northern California to L.A. and was struggling with feeling alone and knowing my identity in Christ. This experience was like a light that helped me to remember that my roots and identity are in Christ and how God uses everything for His glory.

On December 16, 2013, I was living in L.A. when something incredible happened. Some might call it coincidence, but I can’t call it anything but a beautiful gift of restoration, healing and encouragement sent down from God to me — a gift meant to remind me of who I am in Him, to remind me of the beauty of adoption and the abundant love that is intertwined within it.


This story has given me strength and courage to draw close to my roots of adoption more than ever before and it’s helped me broaden my understanding of God’s hand throughout my whole experience of being adopted. Here it is:

I was walking out of the coffee shop I used to work at when a regular named Bruce asked me if I was Indian.

“Yes, I am,” I responded.

His wife, Kiren — who I had never met before — was with him. She said, “Wow, we both were just looking at you because you look just like our little girl who is from India! Now we have an idea of what she may look like when she grows up!”

Bruce proceeded to ask, “Where are you from in India, by the way?”

“Pune, India,” I said.

Kiren started to get so excited. “Our daughters are both from Pune, India, too!” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh!”

“We adopted them from Pune, India,” Bruce said, clarifying.

At this point, I got overwhelmingly excited and I exclaimed, “I was adopted from Pune, India too! When I was 2 and a half years old!”

Kiren had now started to cry tears of joy. “We adopted ours at age 2 and a half years old too!” she said. “I’m sorry I’m crying, this is just so amazing!”

Bruce then said, “Wait, what? Really? I always knew you looked like you could be from India. Were you adopted through BSSK?”

I shrieked, “YES! That’s the orphanage I was adopted from!”

Kiren was still in tears at this point and I was nearly crying as well. This was because I had never met anyone who was adopted from the EXACT same orphanage as I am from. Bruce was excited too and quite astonished.

Nina with Darah (left) and Dani (right) when they first met, looking through photos from their time at BSSK.

We carried on in conversation as they asked me about my experience growing up and I got to share a bit of my testimony with them about what I have experienced through being adopted. I told them about my relationships with my parents and sister, which have grown tremendously since I was little. Bruce told me how Holt has annual events, and that he would keep me posted on ways to keep in touch with them. His wife took down my number so we could plan a time for me to meet their girls. We all hugged each other multiple times and finally, two months later, I was reacquainted with them.

This time, I got to meet their two little girls, Dani and Darah.

Bruce and Kiren had already told them all about me and when I arrived at their house, I was greeted by two girls yelling my name before they even saw me. They ran down the stairs and embraced me with some of the biggest hugs I have ever received. I had tears in my eyes; it was as though I was meeting two little sisters I had never met before. We spent probably 4-5 hours together sharing stories, learning more about each other and our family dynamics. Dani and Darah made sure to show me their picture booklet from BSSK with photos of their time in the care center before they were adopted. I told them that I would have my parents send me over some of the pictures from my booklet so they could see my experience at BSSK too.

Since that first meeting, I have kept in touch with the girls. Although I am now living out of state, just in May I was able to make my way to L.A. and see the family again. This encounter has not only touched all of our lives, but it has also reminded us that the term “family” goes beyond biology. It goes deeper than a family tree. Family is when you are able to meet someone wherever they are at and love them. Love them without forgetting that the God who calls us to love one another is the same God that created each person for the purpose of sharing His light and love with one another.


These moments grew my heart and broadened my understanding of why adoption is such a miracle. Through sharing our personal stories of how adoption has changed and transformed us, God can move mountains. These moments help us remember that God calls us to love those who are orphans, because He also adopts us into His family.

It’s moments like these I am reminded that I am right where God wants me to be. It just encourages me and breaks me so much (in a good way)! I feel so blessed and humbled to have been able to meet Bruce, Kiren, Dani and Darah. God never ceases to astound me. My heart continues to overflow from this experience and I hope that through sharing my story, you are encouraged that God never leaves or forsakes us, but He gives us the opportunity to give Him glory through each of our stories.

Nina Davis | Logan, Utah

Click here to learn more about adopting a child through Holt’s India program!

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One Reply to “Deeper Than A Family Tree”

  1. My name is Emma Rowe. Originally my name was Rani & I too was adopted from BSSK back in 1985, when I was 2 years old. I grew up in Vermont with my loving adopted family, but now live in Fort Worth, Texas with my husband Bruce (lol) & I am 32 years old. My husband and I accepted Christ 6.5 years ago and have been avid followers of Him since. The Lord never ceases to amaze me and here is another wonderful example of what an awesome God we have, to say the least. Nina, I am so glad you chose to write this. I would love to connect with you please e-mail me at or call me at 817-448-2761.
    Your sister in Christ

    For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

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