Olivia Luna Fisher-Duddy
September 2008 7 lbs. 8 oz.
Snuggled up with Mom on the porch at her new Los Angeles home, Joely Fisher's 6-week-old daughter Olivia Luna is calmly taking in her surroundings: sisters True, 2, and Skylar, 7, arguing about whose turn it is to hold her; grandmother Connie Stevens arriving from the kitchen with a bottle of formula; dad Christopher Duddy standing on the lawn; and one of the family's two dogs snoozing on the floor. When Olivia suddenly sneezes, Fisher sums it up perfectly when she exclaims, "Blessings!"
Adopted by Fisher, 41, and Duddy, 47, mere days after she entered the world, Olivia was born in Los Angeles to an unwed teenage mother. But, to hear Fisher tell it, this little girl was always destined to be her daughter. "I felt we belonged together," says Fisher, who plays harried wife Joy Stark on the FOX sitcom 'Til Death
. "I remember telling my mom I wanted to adopt when I grew up. This is a dream come true."
The idea of adopting solidified last July when Fisher went to Mozambique with the nonprofit organization Save the Children. Before she left, the thought of adopting from Africa crossed her mind. "But once I was there," Fisher recalls, "I felt the people I met wanted me to help them sustain their lives in their own country. The trip was my inspiration to adopt but, coming home, I didn't really know how I would go about it." Married since 1996 to cinematographer Duddy, who has two sons, Cameron, 24, and Colin, 22, from his previous marriage, Fisher knew she had her spouse's support. "He was on board," she says admiringly. "It made me look at him in a different way."
After deciding on a private, domestic adoption, the couple submitted the necessary paperwork. About two weeks later, Fisher received an urgent call from the agency. A teen had given birth a day earlier and wanted to talk to Fisher. At the hospital, Fisher met the birth mother. "I put my arms around her and told her how brave she was," she says. Adopting a child of a different race didn't faze her. "I had no preference," she says. "When I found out it was a girl, I was happy. She'll grow up with two loving sisters and spectacular hand-me-downs."
Now Olivia is happily settling into her champagne-colored nursery and her new family. "It's chaos around here," says Fisher with a laugh. "But I love watching pieces of my heart running around the house."