Teacher Adopts A 13-Year-Old Student With Developmental Disability: “We Were Meant To Be Together”

Date May 11, 2018

There are many children who are waiting to be adopted and to get a loving home they are dreaming about. Thirty to fifty percent of them has some form of a developmental disability.

Kids who experience such disabilities benefit greatly from stability and love that come from a permanent family, as well as all children. But many couples shy away from adopting them, being afraid of the double amount of responsibility.

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Troya Yoder, from Alabama, urges to take a chance on them, just like she did with David who changed her life and the life of her family completely.

Troya met David when he was 13, studying at the self-contained class at Thompson Sixth Grade Center where she was working as a paraprofessional. David didn’t talk much at that time; when he was asked a question, he usually answered with ‘Hmmm...’

After finding out that the boy was about to be put on an adoption website, Troya, without any question or further thinking, said she wanted to adopt him. Already being a family of five, Troya’s husband asked if she was sure about this, and the woman had no doubts about the decision.

And so, the adoption process began. It was hard and frustrating, Troya wasn’t even sure that David realized what was happening. When she took him to visit her family for the first time, she was afraid how he would react, especially considering that they have a lot of animals. But David handled the visit like a champion, and everyone fell in love with him.

When he finally moved in, the Yoder family discovered that their new member doesn’t know how to do basics things, like taking a shower, brushing teeth, combing hair. So they taught him how to take care of his basic physical needs.

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But one problem still remained. Nobody knew what caused the boy his delayed speech and developmental disability. After taking tests, the family discovered that David has a rare chromosome disorder known as 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. Despite that, they boy has flourished in his loving family, learning new things quicker than anyone expected.

Troya wrote to LoveThatMatters to share her story and urge other people to take a chance on kids in foster care. She said:

There are so many kids on adoption websites that just need a family to take a chance on them, to love them and accept them for who they are. If there is any chance you could be that person, I urge you to take the step. I guarantee your life will be so much richer and full of love.

Now, David talks non-stop, can carry a conversation, and even developed a unique sense of humor. Even though the social worker warned in the past that he would probably be put in a home when turned 18, the Yoder family is not looking back, only forward.

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