‘Just like you’: East Texas teen tells story of adoption

If you ever wonder what it’s like to be an adopted kid, don’t wonder too hard. We aren’t much different than you. We have our extreme highs and our extreme lows, just like you. We have friends and we have a pretty normal life, just like you. The difference between you and me is the mere fact that you live with your parents, and I live with my new parents.

This is new to you? That’s OK. It was new to me as well. You see, when you’re in foster care, it’s not like that. You never know when you’ll stay and when you’ll leave. It’s a complete mystery. But once you get adopted, everything is as sure as the sunrise every morning, constant and predictable.

Four years ago, the only thing constant and predictable about my life was that I never had a forever family. I never expected my life would take a major turn in a totally different direction. Yet it did.

I came home from school, yet another day of my life I spent alone with no friends. I threw my backpack in my messy room and headed to the kitchen for my after-school snack. My foster mom sat at the table, hands folded in front of her, with a casual smile playing on her lips.

Since this was a strange occurrence, I entered cautiously as I broke the plane of the kitchen. I sat down in my assigned seat at the table and wait patiently for whatever was coming next.

I sat still and watched as each of my three siblings entered the kitchen and followed my lead of sitting at the table. All eyes on my foster mom. An uncomfortable silence settled in around us. Thankfully, it was broken by Mrs. Pat’s clearing of her throat.

“I have good news to tell all of you,” she said. I exhaled loudly and sat up straighter in my chair. “I got a call from your case worker.” I held my breath again as she went on. “She says there is a family who is interested in possibly adopting you.”

A million thoughts rushed through my head all at once and, despite my attempts to slow them down, kept coming long after that conversation ended. “Don’t worry,” she assured us, “they want all four of you.”

I wasn’t sure about all of this change that would take place in my routine life. In fact, I wrestled with the choice of being adopted into the night. Exhausted, I finally collapsed in sleep. I decided to stop worrying and let God handle this decision for me. I slept that night with the peace that I would be OK and woke up the next morning with the same confidence.

After a few visits, it was time to go live with these new parents. I can honestly say my life has never been the same. My past was rough, but it does not affect my present, and I refuse to allow it to affect my future. I am just like you.

I have been picked on, but I now have more friends than I could ever ask for. I am just like you.

I used to be told I would never be smart enough. Today, I’m a straight A student. I am just like you.

I once was told I would never amount to anything, but look at me now. I am just like you.

I wake up in the morning and look out my window as the beautiful sunrise sends a display of breath-taking color across the sky. I sit back and sigh.

I am just like you. And I appreciate it greatly.

Story by Caylin Palmer
Photos by Chelsea White

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