Anthony Berry spent seven years in a foster home in Jefferson County, Texas, before one of his former teachers decided to adopt him.
The teenager was 16 years old when the adoption process ended (November 2017), what made him the oldest child adopted in the county. One of the things that surprised everybody the most, including himself, was that he didn’t want to be adopted at first.
In an interview Anthony and his mother had with ABC News, he set clear that everything changed when he met Bennie Berry, his English teacher at Pathways Learning Center. “I started talking to her and we just kind of clicked,” explained Anthony.
Months after meeting each other, the boy surprised the teacher asking her to adopt him. Bennie set clear that she thought Anthony was joking until the boy explained his situation.
After thinking about it for a while, they made a deal, “finish your assignment and then you can show me the website,” revealed the teacher. Anthony completed it faster than ever.
The boy even revealed that he thought Bennie wouldn’t take his request seriously, but the truth was completely different, and they are now a family. Anthony became the teacher’s first son.
As a way to advise other children in his situation, Anthony said: “If you have ever thought about adoption or didn’t want to be adopted, actually try it because you never know. Take into consideration that ... there is always someone that will love you.”
At the end of the interview, Bennie shyly told her son, “I love you, Anthony,” to what the teen laughed, replied, “I love you too, mommy,” and kissed her in the cheek.
It is not the first time that an adoption story goes viral. A Virginia couple, Joe and Karen Bartling, had trouble conceiving after welcoming their biological son, Joel, but after trying IVF many times without success, they looked to adoption.
The couple’s first adopted child was Hannah, a two-year-old girl born without eyes and abandoned at an orphanage in South Korea. After that, they adopted another blind girl, Jesse.
Source: YouTube/Inside Edition
“After that, we became the go-to couple for the social workers and the agency when they had a blind child,” said Karen. Later, the Bartlings adopted Abi, a third blind girl found in a trash can in India.
At the moment, Karen and Joe are parents to six children, and even though they all require special care, they have no regrets. “It's challenging but rewarding,” admitted Karen.