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Wednesday’s Child: Makayla’s Story

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — When learning how to play an instrument, it’s always a good idea to start slow, beginning with the basics and building from there.

On Wednesday, Makayla was invited to “ArtSpace” in Salt Lake City to learn how to play the ukulele. However, for the past two years, she’s had to learn some hard realities about life.

“This is my first (foster) house,” she said.

Makayla has been living in state custody ever since her entire world changed two years ago.

“The day was Oct. 14, 2017,” she said. “It was really sad because it was the last time I saw my mom. I didn’t expect it to end just like that.”

Makayla had to leave her home in Chicago.

“It was just a big part of me that was just taken away when I left, I guess,” she said.

She came to stay with relatives here in Utah, but that didn’t work out either.

“Yeah, I’m pretty scared about it,” she said.

Now, she’s navigating a new place all on her own. She recently started at a new high school and was disappointed to learn she missed volleyball tryouts. She said she’s trying to get good grades and not stand out too much. She has been placed in a special class with other children who are in foster care.

“I just don’t want people to judge me,” she said. “I’m pretty insecure.”

These days, tests and homework aren’t her biggest concern. She said the fears of never finding a family are gnawing at her.

“It’s been attacking me and hitting me like a train,” she said.

Right now, she’s grateful to be in a foster home with kind people. She just knows it’s not going to last forever.

“They said adoption isn’t something they’re looking for so I have just started distancing myself,” she said. “I’m not going to get myself attached to this family because it’s not something I’m going to be in long term.”

The 16-year-old doesn’t hope for a driver’s license or a new car — she wants something every child deserves.

“I want to be adopted,” she said. “I want to have a forever home and have someone who chooses me and wants me and actually loves me.”

To learn more about Makayla or the many other children living in foster care, contact The Utah Adoption Exchange at 801-265-0444 or visit

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