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This story was written by Dan, who is now 17 and is an amazing child; doing so well.  He was in treatment for about nine months at the Center for Family Development when he was thirteen.

Hello, my name is Daniel.  I am seventeen years old.  I was four years old when I was placed into foster care along with my thirteen siblings.  

I spend eight years in foster care, moving between eighteen families and being placed in three adoptive homes before finally being adopted.

All my siblings were adopted way before me.  Many were even placed together.

I didn't let people into my heart.  It hurt too much to let them in and have them break my heart in two.  I got to the point that I just called every family "Mom and Dad."  it was easier than trying to remember their names.  Besides, they were just going to return me, so why bother?

I found a family of my own when I was 12.  My mom was very firm with me.  I would try to pull stuff but she always seem to catch me.  I would say stuff that was really inappropriate.  She wouldn't get angry like the other moms.  She just would make a joke by saying, "Oh Dan, that's a colorful word.  We don't use it around here and you know that."  Then she told me to do 20 situps.

I sat on the floor for almost three hours.  I figured that if I just sat there long enough, then she would just send me to bed and I wouldn't have to do the punishment.

Well, guess what?  Just when I thought it was bedtime, mom pulled out snacks.  Everyone was enjoying them.  Mom asked me if I wanted one.  "Sure, I said.  Mom told me to do my punishment and then she would give me the snack.  I did my punishment -- after all, who could pass up chocolate cream pie!

Mom and Dad took me to a counselor for "RAD" which is Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I loved them but still didn't let them all the way into my heart.  I am proud to say that after only nine months, I graduated from therapy.  My heart is not broken anymore.  Sure I have scars but that makes me stronger person.

My family never gave up on me.  I graduate next year from a Catholic schools and am enlisting in the United States Air Force.

I was lucky to have a family that gave me a chance, even when I felt like a "throw away" kid.  Please give a bigger kid a chance!  Our bark is usually worse than our bite.  We just want to make sure that you love us no matter what!!