Until I was four years old, I lived in a terrible home. None of my most basic needs were met, and I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. When I was placed in the care of my foster mother, I began to wonder what a good life could be like. She was kind and warm and truly cared about my future. I will always be grateful that she was the person who recommended my adoptive mother.

I met my adoptive mother soon after my fifth birthday. At only five years old, I had many attachment issues and I struggled to feel or give love. I often tried to run away in the first year of placement, but always came home to find a patient, loving adoptive mother who would not give up on me.

It took over a year for me to begin calling her “Mom,” hold her hand, or let her tuck me in at night. But her patience persevered, and I grew to love her with all of my heart.

I am now twenty-two years old, happy, and productive. I’m in school studying to be a social worker, and I plan to adopt a child of my own someday.

The courage and insight of my foster mother led me to the woman who would love and accept me into becoming who I am now: someone who smiles and laughs. I feel joy every day– something that wouldn’t seem likely for someone who was abused so much, so young.

I am proof that unconditional love, a warm household, and a little faith can change the course of a child’s life.