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Dream Quest One Writing Contest
Third Writing Prize Winner - Winter 2011 - 2012 is:

Alyssa Pirkey of Moseley, Virginia

For the short story entitled,

The Diverse Family

Once upon a time, there were two African American toddlers who were looking for a forever home that would take them in. The little girl was gifted, but no one knew yet. The little boy had a learning disability. Those two little kids didn’t care about their differences, because they loved and needed each other.


The person who took care of the small children while they looked for a forever family was Ms. Gertie. This loving foster mom had the same colored skin tone as the children. Ms. Gertie was African American just like them. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any help, because she wasn’t married, and that was okay. As fond of the two as she was, honestly, she wanted them to find a forever family with a mother and father.


Ms. Ambrosia, who was Cuban, helped Ms. Gertie get them ready. Little did the small ones know just how much their caseworker was doing to find just the right forever family. The kids were very grateful that Ms. Ambrosia put in hours researching several potential parents for the two wee ones. She doted them as well. While there were many who might work, Ms. Ambrosia wanted two special people who were looking for two toddlers of their own. She found them in a completely different state.


These promising parents had looked every which way for kids of their own, until they found these two little African American tots online. The kids were up for adoption. As soon as those people laid eyes on the kid’s pictures it was love at first sight. As quick as they could the potential parents contacted the children’s caseworker.


Ms. Ambrosia agreed this was the perfect match. She set up a meeting between the expectant parents and waiting children. When the tots met the anxious adults they knew that they had found exactly what they were looking for in a forever family. They didn’t even care that their chosen parents were Caucasian and Native American.


While they were at the adoption center the tiny girl already knew that those two adults would soon be her parents. When the man and woman both got up to leave, the girl thought she was never going to see them again. She fiercely wrapped her arms around the woman’s neck and held on for dear life, as she began to cry. Soon the boy realized what was going on and grabbed on to the man’s legs. It took several people to gently pry the distressed children and saddened parents apart. By law the two tots had to stay where they were, until the paperwork was processed. The new family still had to wait a while longer.



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After a few months the ecstatic parents were able to bring the delighted children home. When the family met with a judge, who had to decide their fate as a family, the judge saw how happy they all were together, even though they were all so different. He finalized the adoption.


As it came time to go, the kids were so excited to leave the foster home, but were sad about leaving Ms. Gertie. Before the kids went to their new home, Ms. Gertie pulled the new mom aside. She whispered, “Take care of my babies.” The young mother reached out to the experienced foster mom and hugged her. Crying the new mom said, “I will. I promise. Thanks for loving them.”


When the toddlers got to their forever home, they got to pick their new names. The little girl picked Alyssa Pirkey. The little boy picked Kenny Pirkey. Their new parents thought their new children’s arrival was the best thing that ever happened to them.


That story is very real, and the little girl was me. The little boy was my brother. I feel very lucky and happy that I have a diverse family. We get to explain it to people, and that helps us go back to those mostly wonderful memories of everyone who helped us find our forever home. To me the love that everyone showed for two little toddlers who didn’t have a home is exactly what diversity is. No one looked at the color of the skin or the abilities or disabilities of the people involved with how our family became what it is. All that mattered was helping my brother and me. Diversity means showing everyone who comes into your life that you care about them no matter what.

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 About the writer: My name is Alyssa Pirkey. I am 10 years old. I have one biological brother who was adopted with me. He is 11. I love to write. My parents have always allowed me to express myself with words. When they first met me at 2 years old, I was speaking in complete sentences. Momma and Daddy encouraged my talking. They saw my love of language and began to teach me how to read. I was reading on my own by the age of 3 and 1/2. The Harry Potter series and the Missing series are two of my favorites. I began seeing that writing was a fun way to share stories. I started writing plays when I was 4 to entertain my brother. Whenever I am not at school, I am doing one of 3 things...riding my horse, Blu, reading one of my hundreds of books, or writing stories about my life such as this one. I want to help other kids who have been adopted or are going through the adoption process to understand that adoption is a wonderful thing. I also want kids who don't know what adoption is to understand who I am and how my family came to be.