Marc, 13, of New Jersey (top right) is an honor student in middle school. He’s a typical teenager who likes video games, loves his two family dogs Buddy and Molly and sometimes gets annoyed by his older 15-year-old brother Matthew (top left).
However, Marc’s life wasn’t always so typical. Before being adopted at age seven by his dad Paul (center), Marc lived a life of turmoil and unrest in being separated from his brother while bouncing from foster home to foster home. He shares with us his story of finding a family of his own.
Marc’s story in his own words
My life was not always this happy. My mom and dad had problems with drugs and alcohol when my brother and I were younger. Almost every day the police would come to our house and we would be taken away by the Division of Youth and Family Services.
I hated being taken from my mom no matter what she did. Another horrible part for me was being separated from my brother Matthew. Sometimes I wouldn’t see him for months.
After a long time, my dad left my mom and she continued to abuse drugs. My mom finally gave up on us and we went to live with her aunt in New Jersey. I didn’t see my mom or dad for a long time.
Living with our great aunt was not good. She was old and had her own problems, but at least Matthew and I were together. This didn’t last too long though. The Division of Youth and Family Services said our great aunt couldn’t take care of us, so I was placed into foster care when I was 3.5 years old while my brother stayed with her until being placed into a different home.
I hated the feeling of being in a stranger’s home without my brother to protect me. The first home I went into was hell. I was abused in different ways, and then I was removed from there and put into another one. I didn’t see my brother at all during this time. I was bounced around from foster home to foster home, and I hated each one. I wanted to be with my own family.
Finally I was placed in a residential treatment center, and I got to have visits with Matthew and my great aunt. I found out she took Matthew back home, but not me, and this made me feel invisible.
I was seven years old when my dad Paul came to visit me. I didn’t know who he was or why he was being kind to me, but he came to see me every day after his job. He was allowed to take me out to go to dinner, and then I was allowed to have weekend visits with him.
At first I was scared that he would abuse me, but he didn’t, he was nice. He told me he wanted a family and would I be his son. I was he happiest kid in the world, but I still did not trust him totally. I tested him by being bad and breaking things to see if he would get rid of me, but he didn’t. He adopted me, and I love him.
Two years later Matthew was back in foster care. When Dad found out, we started looking for him and we found him. Matthew moved into our home during Christmas of 2007, and it was the best Christmas gift I ever got.
We are the best family in the world. Matthew is annoying sometimes, but he’s my brother and I love him and I know he loves me. Dad is the best dad in the world. He’s strict about homework and bedtime, but that’s ok. I know he loves our family too.
When I grow up, I am going to help all the kids in foster care because every kid needs a home like mine.
AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and has been in operation since 2002 by the Adoption Exchange Association under a cooperative agreement (grant #90CQ0003). The mission of AdoptUSKids is two-fold: to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children in the public child welfare system; and to assist U.S. States, Territories, and Tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children.