By Kristina Houck
Anya was adopted at 10 years old. Now a high school junior, she is raising funds so other older children can find loving homes.
“We just wanted to bring awareness to older orphan children because I used to be in that place,” Anya said. “We wanted to bring awareness and raise money for them so they can come here and experience what I’ve experienced.”
The 18-year-old recently released a line of personalized lockets at her mother’s store, Bon Bijoux Girly Boutique, in Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade. A portion of the proceeds from Good Girl Lockets will benefit International Christian Adoptions, the licensed, nonprofit adoption agency Kimberly Efseaff and her husband used to adopt their daughter.
Already parents of three children, the Rancho Santa Fe couple volunteered as a host family for the agency about a decade ago. Anya, then 8 years old, came from Russia to stay at the family’s home while she met with prospective adoptive parents.
“We were just thinking we would be a host family because we had these three little boys — and then she came to us,” said
Efseaff, whose sons are now 13, 20 and 23 years old. “Within the first week, my heart was drawn, so I asked my husband. He said, ‘I’ve just been waiting for you to ask me.’
“It was just one of those things that God goes before you and it is just meant to be.”
Anya returned to Russia while the adoption process was finalized. More than a year later, she finally had a family.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “You finally feel the love that you deserve. It made me feel very loved and welcome.”
because I always wanted to have a daughter and never thought I would have one,” her mother added. “She’s wonderful.”
In support of children without homes around the world, 10 percent of locket sales will go toward basic necessities and education for children, as well as help pair children with loving families. Good Girl Lockets will increase donations once the business grows, Efseaff said.
“It’s important to me because I want to bring awareness to them,” Anya said. “I want them to feel love.”
Lockets cost $19.95, come in a variety of colors and styles, and include a charm and chain. Customers can personalize their lockets by purchasing birthstones, initials and other charms for $2.95 each.
Products are available at Bon Bijoux Girly Boutique, Pigtails & Crewcuts in Del Mar (Flower Hill Promenade) and San Diego, and at www.goodgirllockets.com.
“We hope to encourage little girls that you can do something to help somebody else,” Efseaff said. “Sometimes in life things don’t start off very good for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way. Anya is a prime example of that.”