Anthony lived in group homes for nine years with the hope of being adopted. Afraid of disappointment, he took a chance and asked his teacher to adopt him.
- Some days I felt upset, angry, lost.
They'd taken me from my safe place
and placed me in a home with strangers.
I mean, I didn't have anyhelp or anyone to turn to
or anything like that.
- [Narrator] Anthony wasplaced in foster care
when he was six years old
due to his birth mom's drug use
while pregnant with his baby sister.
He knew about God's lovethrough his grandmother
and tried to stay hopefulin a tough situation.
- I prayed sometimeswhen I was feeling down.
And then other days I questioned him.
"Why am I here?
"Why can't I find anyone to love me?
"Why can't I go back home?"
- [Narrator] He lived ingroup homes for nine years,
hoping to be adopted, yetafraid of being let down.
- I didn't get my hopes upfor anything, basically,
'cause I didn't wannaget my hopes up too high
and it not happen, 'causedeep down I wanted it to work.
I wanted to get out of the system.
I didn't wanna deal with the bonds
of being a ward of the state anymore.
I just wanted to, you know,
have a loving family, a forever home.
- [Narrator] At 15 years old,and after a failed adoption,
he began losing hope.
He got in trouble in his high school
and was sent to PathwaysAlternative School,
where he met Dr. Bennie Berry,a teacher at the school.
- And he came there and he volunteered to
say the pledge at thebeginning of the day.
He volunteered- he was inROTC at his home campus.
He volunteered to hang the flag.
I was impressed.
I felt like, "Oh, this kid is a leader."
He's different from the rest.
He has initiative.
- [Narrator] Bennie was single
and had no children of her own.
In class, students jokedthat they loved Dr. Berry
and wished she was their mom.
Anthony jumped in and wasn't joking.
- The discussion went to families.
And some of the kids were saying,
"Well, I've been trying to getMs. Berry to take me home."
And Anthony said, "Oh, youcould take me home for real."
And I said, "No, yourparents are doing their best.
"Respect your parentsthe way you respect me
"and you'll be okay."
And he's like, "No, really,I'm in foster care."
And so a couple of studentsand myself, we didn't know.
We kinda gasped like, "Really,you're in foster care?"
I actually was like,"Yeah, you can adopt me.
"Have you thought about adoption?"
Then we got deeper into the conversation.
- And I said, "Well,if you was ever my kid,
"you have to be good."
And he said, "For how long?"
And I said, "Forever, whatare you talking about?"
So he said, "Well, you can look me up.
"I can be adopted.
"You can take me home."
- [Narrator] Anthony gaveBennie his information
and the adoption website.
- I had never planned on adopting
because I didn't knowthe process for adopting.
Only thing I knew aboutadoption is what I've seen
on, like, a Lifetime movie.
I never really believed, I'llsay, in the first few days,
that it was something that I could do.
- It came time for me to leave Pathways
and I was like, "Don'tyou forget about me."
And she didn't forget.
- When it became more real, Ihad to pray about everything.
I asked God to order my steps,everything that I went to do.
I was like, "Okay, Lord,show me that what I'm doing
"is not just raw emotion.
"It is what I really should do."
So, I felt like God was showing me,
"Yes, this is what you need to do."
Step by step, ordering it, ordained.
- [Narrator] To Bennie's amazement,
there were no roadblocksto the application process
and soon they began atrial adoption period.
Later that year, onNational Adoption Day, 2017,
Bennie officially adopted Anthony.
- I was very nervous.
It was, you know, all thatanxiety and attention.
Like, "This is really happening.
"Today's the day."
Actually, we both couldn'tsleep the night before.
We spent most of the timetalking to each other.
That was a very good bonding period.
- National Adoption Daywas an emotional day.
My name was put on his birth certificate.
His name was officially changed.
It became real on that day.
Everything we had prayed for,
every step that I had asked God to order,
we're now at the end of the road.
It is official, we are a family.
Nobody can change it.
♪ You brought me through that. ♪
- [Narrator] The trait that best defines
this new family of two is gratitude
for one another and to God,
who opened the door and their hearts.
- He's bringing us all the way.
He's carrying us.
Like he carried the cross,he's carrying us on his back.
I'm thankful for her just loving me
and taking a 16 year old, well15 going on 16 year old boy
into her home, a troubled boy at that.
I love it.
It's something that Inever thought I would have.
For someone my age to getadopted, it's very rare.
- I didn't know that Icould love somebody so much
besides my parents.
I needed him, probably, asmuch or more than he needed me.
I don't tell him a lot because
I don't want him to thinkhe has the upper hand,
but I am more than proud of him.
I thank God for the opportunityto help mold somebody
who I know is going todo wonderful things.