Laguna girl gets lucky with 11

The number 11 has special significance to the Jenkins family.

Olivia Jenkins turns 11 on Friday.

The date?

Nov. 11, 2011, or 11/11/11.

That on its own would be special enough, but according to Olivia's father, 11 has always been a part of his daughter's life, even before they had her.

In 2002, Olivia was adopted in China by Dan and Lisa Jenkins of Laguna Beach.

"For approximately six months leading up to our 'match' with Olivia, I would see '11:11' constantly on all the appliances in our kitchen, on the clock in my car, and often on my computer. It didn't mean anything to me at the time, but it got to the point where it was annoying and concerning," Dan said in an email.

He began pointing it out to his wife every time he saw the numbers, and she agreed that it was strange.

On Dec. 20, 2001, the Jenkinses learned they'd been matched with a child.

"As we were in the car that evening driving off to celebrate, my wife was on the phone calling our various family members to tell them the wonderful news. I heard her say, 'We've been matched with a baby girl, and she was born on Nov. 11.' At that point, it hit me: Her birthday was 11/11, and I nearly wrecked the car!" Dan recalled.

The 11:11 coincidence continued. Dan said he noticed the time the first moment he and his wife laid eyes on their new daughter in Changsha, the capital of the Hunan province: It read 11:11 a.m.

Dan said the family has been anticipating Olivia's special upcoming birthday for a long time and has always talked about how they would celebrate.

"The time is here, and she chose to go to Washington, D.C. We plan to be on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 11:11 on 11/11/11, holding a digital clock, where she will be flanked by columns, appearing as '11' and '11' on either side," Dan said.

The family will be in Washington for six days, and the trip will include a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, in honor of Veterans Day, and a tour of the White House.

"We've always been having a countdown, like five more years or two or one … Four more days it's gonna happen, so we're really excited," Olivia said Monday.

Olivia, now a fifth-grader at Top of the World Elementary School, favors the number.

"It actually is a lucky number for me. Whenever I have that number, I do better," she said.

She has played soccer for seven years, and her jersey number is always — you guessed it — 11.

But Olivia has more than just the number on her side.

"She was born in the Year of the Dragon, and in a millennial year, considered very lucky in Chinese mythology," Dan said.

Olivia's parents say their lives were "forever changed" after adopting Olivia. Since then, they have also adopted a son, Benjamin, 4, from Mongolia.

"Interestingly, Pythagoras said, 'Eleven is the number of a cycle of new beginnings,' and certainly for us it has been," Dan said.

"It's kind of like the stars aligned for her."

Twitter: @KellyParkerTCN

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World