I opened my home to my son’s best friend to live with us for a while during high school. He ended up staying twice, the second time for almost two years, right up through graduation of high school and to the start of college. During that time I became known in my small town as a person who takes in kids who are in trouble, and in the past six years I have semi-adopted three more teenagers.
I raised my son as a single parent, and money has always been tight, but there is no way I can say no to a child in need. Every single one of “my kids” is great – it is their parents who are struggling, with drugs, jail, suicide.
I got married less than a year ago, and the day we got home from our honeymoon I got a call that one of my kids, who had since gone back home to his Mom, was about to become homeless, again.
This time his mom had been arrested, and had attempted to stab the police officer. I said to my new husband, “Some people collect things, I collect people, and there is no way I can say no.” So we planned for a month’s stay. He was with us for seven months, and then went to college this past semester on full ride scholarship. He is high honors, brilliant, and wants to be a surgeon. This is what makes me the most proud in life, to be the person who can make a difference.
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