Adopted at Age 16

10-years as a foster child

Denalee Chapman December 15, 2014
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When Keontaye was 15 years old, he had completely lost all hope for adoption. This was particularly painful for him since his three sisters had been adopted years earlier. Keontaye became a foster child at age 6 and watched as friends and his sisters were joined with forever families. . . but not him.

Miracles occurred, and Keontaye was taken in by a woman who truly loved him. She wasn’t in a financial position to adopt, but she raised him as her own anyway. Keontaye attended birthday parties, dinners, and every other time the family joined together. He also attended church with them.

Bill and Dawn Dunkman raised four children but felt the pull to adopt. While looking through a booklet with pictures of adoptable foster children, they paused when they saw Keontaye. They were drawn to his smile. But he was old. And a boy. A big boy. They were looking for a young girl.

Then one day in church, Bill noticed Keontaye sitting with a woman. After church, they spoke with his guardian, who got teary-eyed as she said, “I’ve been praying for a family for him for four years.”

Their story, featured in The Indy Star, is one of hope. It ends with adoption and a family filled with love.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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