My New Beginning This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 13, 2012
By
When I was two years old, I was placed in a foster home. From then until four years ago, I lived in four foster homes. When I was ten, I went to live with the Johnsons. It was a Sunday, and rather chilly outside, the beginning of December. I was seated in the church pew and listening to the sermon when I realized I was fidgeting. I was scared about going to Sunday School class.

As I crept into the Sunday School room for fourth graders, I noticed a gorgeous woman with shiny, light-brown hair and dazzling blue eyes. I wondered if she would be my teacher; a few minutes later I discovered she was! She introduced herself as Cheryl and asked us to read from a book. While we read, she tiptoed around the table, leaving the scent of wildflowers trailing behind her.

On the last day of class that year, I approached Cheryl and said, “I may not be back next year and wanted to thank you. You have been a wonderful teacher and friend.” She gazed at me and asked, “Why don’t you think you will be back next year?” I told her, “Because I might be getting adopted and if I do, I will be living in either Rochester or the Twin Cities.”

On my birthday, July 11th, I had a party. Cheryl and her husband Steve came since they were friends of my foster family. At that time, the adoption process had begun, without my knowledge. In August, my foster mom, Cathy, told me I would soon be adopted. She couldn’t say by whom, though. As I was getting into bed, I began to cry. I told my “sister” I was terrified about the next day. I didn’t want to end up in a family who didn’t care for me. She got Cathy, who talked to me and made up a game. I would guess who my adoptive parents were; she would not tell me, but gave me clues. I kept guessing until Cathy said it was time to go to sleep, tomorrow would be a very emotional day. I went to sleep happy and excited at the same time. The next day, I had a meeting with my guardian at litem, a person I can talk to, and my adoption worker. Finally, the big moment arrived and I was finally told who my new parents would be … Steve and Cheryl! I went crazy, I was so happy. I knew and trusted them, and was friends with them too! Later that night I called them. Cheryl answered and I said, “Hi, Mom!” We talked for a little bit and then I talked to Steve.

My visits began the next week. I spent the weekend with them! I met my sister, their biological daughter, Lisa and her fiancé, Brian, my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin. Finally, at the end of the month, I moved in. Their home was so cozy and warm I felt I had already lived with them forever. When Cheryl gave me a hug that night, I felt warm and loved. Then Steve came in, leaned over my new bed and also gave me a hug. I was so happy I felt like I could just float up to heaven.

When I woke up the next morning, we packed and left for Wisconsin Dells. We spent the weekend going on rides, eating and having a lot of fun. I had not yet begun to call them mom and dad. When we were at the hotel and decided to go swimming I was trying to get Steve’s attention, so I yelled “Dad!” This was the first time I had called him Dad. He was overjoyed! On the way home I called them Mom and Dad every time I wanted their attention. This is a time neither Mom, Dad nor I will ever forget!

On March 19, 1996 we went to court, stood in front of a judge and became a family The judge asked me if I wanted to be adopted by them. I said in a very timid but enthusiastic voice, “Yes.” She asked them if they were sure. Together, and very enthusiastically, they said, “Yes!” When I heard that gavel hit, it was music to my ears! She had just pronounced us a family! The adoption was final. I was so happy! My new mom, dad and I gave each other a great big hug.

Since that day we have grown closer together as a family. I was in Lisa and Brian’s wedding and have become happier every day. I wish every child in foster care finds the new beginning I did.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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