My story isn’t as good as yours, but it’s not as good as anyone’s. Today my life could never be better. I wouldn’t change a thing cause where I’m at now is perfect. There are still things I would want to change, but not that much. My life sucked at first, but not anymore.
Many people think that I was born in Columbia but that’s not true at all. I was born in Fresno, California. I lived there until I was five then I moved to Columbia, Missouri. I kind of have two families. I have an older sister and a younger brother.
My life was good and fine until one very specific day.
My dad came home around midnight and we were all sleeping. On this day, I was only four. We all woke up because my mom was screaming. We ran to see what was happening to her, and we saw our dad hitting my mom with a baseball bat. I was really scared and I didn’t know what to do. I was just standing there watching it happen. My sister, the smart one, grabbed a phone to call the police. They came and arrested my dad. He went to jail for five years. At the time I didn’t know what was happening so I thought they were playing, but I was wrong. I got to visit him once in a while. It wasn’t fun — we had to talk through a phone on the wall.
When I was five, my mom’s friend convinced her that we should move because my dad sent letters from jail saying that when he got out he would kill all of us. So, we moved to Columbia. When we got here, we stayed at our friend’s house. She is like an aunt to me. Then, when I was six we moved into our own house. It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small either. It was a three story house – upstairs, downstairs, and a basement. That’s where it all started.
I got put into foster care at the age of six and left foster care at the age of 13. I was put into foster care because my siblings and I were all abused. We were in the same house for awhile, but then we were put into different houses. We all just wanted to go back to our mom. When I was seven we got to go back home. My mom did what she was supposed to do and so did we. We were all happy again because we were together.
Then, out of nowhere, my sister’s real dad called to say he wanted his daughter back in his custody. We went to court and tried to make her stay with us. That didn’t work and we lost the case. She had to go home with her real dad and that was the last time I saw her. My mom started to abuse me.
So, I was put back in foster care. I went house to house, school to school. I lost count of how many times I kept moving.
Then, finally, I was 11 and put myself up for adoption. I couldn’t do it anymore.
At the time, I was living with the two best house parents at Coyote Hill [Andrew & Merri Heberlein]. They were with me through my tough times, and they were the ones who helped me through all of this. I stayed with them for almost two years. Then, I met another wonderful couple [Lorenzo & Jolanda Scott]. They are so great, even though we sometimes don’t see eye to eye.
They adopted me. I am so thankful that I found someone that loves me for who I am and will be with me no matter what I do.
Let me tell you about this family I live with now. They adopted me and it is great, I love them more than anything and anyone. The funny thing about my [adoptive] mom is that we first met when I was in ISS back at Oakland Middle School. It was funny because I never thought that my teacher would later be the one taking me home at night. My dad, I don’t know what to say about him, he’s really funny. I never really had a dad in my life but once he stepped in, it was cool. He will do anything to make you smile. When I’m upset about something, he always tries to make me smile and it works. Levi [my brother] is 6 years old, I would do anything to keep him safe. If anyone tries to mess with him, they would have to go through me first. Gideon, is Gideon, if no one’s talking to him he’ll make them start talking to him. Naomi is so freaking cute and I love to come home after school and start dancing with her. She has the best smile in the house. Dante is like an older brother to me, he doesn’t think this, but he is funny.
This family is the best thing that probably could happen to me in my whole life. God brought them to me or He brought me to them. Either way, they’re here with me and I love them.
— Freddy, age 15
This story first appeared in BoldyU magazine.
This is a follow up Freddy’s adoption story we shared last May when the adoption was finalized. Click here to read that story.
Photos courtesy of: Images by Annie.