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Jamesville: Homemade 'Chicken Soup' stirs the soul

Local author Barbara Canale is full of pride and for good reason. Her most recent work is so telling that it was placed in the newly released book "Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul" by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen as the lead story. The NY Times best-selling series was created to inspire and motivate readers with uplifting stories, and Canale's story hit the nail on the head.

"I felt very proud to have Chicken Soup choose my story out of the hundreds of submissions they received," she said. "But I can only take half the credit. If I didn't have two amazing daughters who gave me the material to work with, there wouldn't have been a story. It's that simple."

Each story that comprises the book tells a unique account about finding and creating families. Canale's is titled, "The Stuffed Animal."

"In my story, I tell how Juliana, who is adopted from Romania, convinced my husband Patrick and me to adopt another child," she said. "At the time Juliana was only two years old."

Canale said her daughter was adamant that the medical supplies, blankets, clothes and toys they would send to orphans in Romania were going to her "sister" even though she didn't have any siblings. Eventually, the couple decided to adopt again. Their Romanian lawyer chose Andrea who had been living in the same orphanage to which their supplies had been sent.

"The truly amazing part was when we went to the orphanage to get her," Canale said. "Andrea had one of the stuffed animals Juliana sent claiming it was for her sister."

While no one in the Canale family is genetically connected, Canale said their relationship with each other is incredible.

"I have seen God's hand at work in many adoptive families," she said. "Mine is just one."

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