I was rejected by my father. He committed suicide when I was 15, so it kind of left me alone but it worked out for me because my former best friend from first grade, her and her mother came and adopted me. They just kind of showed up and said you're going to come stay with us. I asked for how long and they said forever. I was one of nine other adopted kids. Technically I was the last of the nine that they took in.
That really changed my outlook on everything. I was growing up as an only child, then going into having eight other siblings, it really changes how you look at things; the impact, the difference that someone can make. They just were being kind and they didn't ask for anything and didn't need anything. I needed a family so they opened up their doors and gave me one.
When I hear about people having issues, getting pregnant I always think about adopting kids. I really focus on adopting older kids, they are the ones, everyone wants the baby. I used to be a big part of toys for tots. Whenever I would advocate for toys for tots I would focus on getting people to give gifts for the older kids. Everyone gets a doll or something for the little ones but there are a lot of teenagers that don't have families.
I still have a few favorite stuffed animals packed away that I would never get rid of. A dog was given to me by my cousin. Another one was some crazy furry monster thing that I got on a road trip that I loved forever. It made me happy. As a kid, I was by myself, my father was a musician. He was busy so I just had that toy, I had it everywhere I went.
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