When some people think Nintendo, the first word that comes to mind is family. That's likely the case for Nintendo employees Ross and Sandra Titus, who recently adopted their first child, 29-year-old Nintendo executive Jillian.
The woman now known as Jillian Titus didn't feel as if she had much of a family when she first started working at Nintendo back in 2008, and for good reason. Divorced shortly after she was born, her birth parents weren't particularly supportive. Her father once shot a gun at her while drunk. Her mother abused cocaine and chased men across the country, leading to Jillian attending 13 different schools over the course of her education. Frankly I find it amazing that she managed to pull herself up to the position of Nintendo executive.
Hers is a story of overcoming hardships. She battled her way out of her parents' shadow and made a name for herself, but there was still something missing.
Jillian met Ross and Sandra during her early days at Nintendo as a buyer. Ross worked shipping; Sandra was in human resources. As sometimes happens when meeting new people, the trio just clicked.
"From day one, I was so drawn to Jillian. I noticed her laugh. I thought, ‘Look at that cute little monkey,'" Sandra said. "Not having any kids, it didn't occur to me that it might be maternal stuff I was feeling."
Slightly creepy, yes, but heartwarming all the same.
Soon Jillian was spending tons of time over Ross and Sandra's house. She'd bring her boyfriends there to meet them. She called Sandra "Mama". It was definitely more than a friendship, but what was it?
Jillian defined the relationship with joking words. "Oh, why don't you just hurry up and adopt me!"
So they did.
Adult adoption is a process that's growing increasingly more popular these days. It gives people like Jillian, who never felt a connection to her unsupportive birth parents, a chance to feel what it's like to be part of a real family.
Sandra and Ross cleared things with Jillian, met with an adoption attorney, and three months later the trio was legally a family.
"I now know what it feels like," Jillian added, "to have a real mom and dad who love you and prioritize you. I'm starting to feel that stability and trust you get from having a family."
As an expectant father (any day now), I hope that one day my children find parents as loving and caring as Sandra and Ross.