My first memory is my mom slapping me. I lived with her when I was little, but I don’t remember much else about her. When I was 5, I was sent to live with my dad and my Nana. Nana was pretty old and often didn’t know who we were. My dad would get angry at her and tell me that he couldn’t be around her anymore. He would leave for days at a time and we often didn’t have any food. One winter, when he was gone for a week, the heat and water were turned off.
When I was 8, child protection took me to live with my half sister, Jessica. Jessica took care of me, but she didn’t really care about me. She already had a daughter and didn’t treat me the same way she treated her daughter. All I wanted was to be someone’s daughter. While living with Jessica, I met my Aunt Jen. Aunt Jen would come over and take me to the movies or buy me ice cream. She made me feel special. I told my social worker that I wanted a new foster home- I wanted to live with Aunt Jen.
I don’t know why it took so long but, finally when I was 16, I moved in with Aunt Jen and her three sons. Aunt Jen told me that she had always wanted a daughter and that she wanted to adopt me. I started calling her mom. I was so happy that I finally had someone to call mom.
A year passed that I lived with Aunt Jen and my adoption still hadn’t happened. I was worried I would never be adopted. It was in this year, that I got my CLC lawyer. I asked my CLC lawyer to help me get adopted by my Aunt Jen. My lawyer helped my aunt get all the proper paperwork. My lawyer also told the judge how important this adoption was to me and how long I had waited for it to happen. Even though I was almost an adult, I still wanted to be adopted and have a family. The judge understood. On the day of my adoption, the room was filled with my family members. I remember looking around and thinking, “All of these people are here for me”. Standing next to my mom, I had never felt happier. Not only did I have a mom; I finally had a family.