“It was just awesome to be wanted.” That is the statement of Carson Petersen after being adopted by the Petersen family at 18 years old. Carson grew up in foster care, and as many children in foster care, was moved around to many homes. Adult adoption from foster care does not happen very often, but in California, where Carson resided, the state law allows someone to remain in foster care up to age 21, versus the age of 18 in most states, as long as they are doing something productive, such as school, work, or therapy.

Carson was in foster care with the Petersen family prior to his adoption for about three years. It was supposed to be a short term placement but Carson asked to stay and the family wanted him to stay. The family then wanted to adopt him and officially make him a member of the family.

But coming to this decision was not easy, there were many ups and downs. Carson stated, “I would always have this wall built up so no one could hurt me. I didn’t like talking to new people, and I used to smoke and drink.”

The Petersen family now has Carson, 18-year-old Hunter, Kaylynn, 4, and Joshua, 2. Hunter and Carson have an especially close relationship and even got tattoos together with the date Carson joined the Petersen family. Hunter stated, “Now I’ve got that guy who’s always going to be there and I’m always going to be there for him.”

Carson’s life has really improved since joining the Petersen family and he said, “It was just awesome to be wanted.” He is doing well in school, working part time, plays football, and wants to become a firefighter.

Tex Petersen, Carson’s father, states it perfectly about what Carson experienced, along with many children in the foster care system: “I’d tell him that he was worth it. That’s the biggest thing… He felt like he wasn’t worth anything, so why try to strive?”

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