Wednesday’s Child: One year later, adopted teen sees a few future
Salt Lake City – It was one year ago when 14-year-old Branch took a leap of faith at Real Salt Lake in Sandy and shared his story of living in foster care. At that time, his name was Camden and he was living in his third foster home in two years.
Fast forward to today, Camden has changed his name to Branch. It’s a new name to go with a new start for this Utah teen.
“I just felt like that if I change my name I can be known as something else from like then to the future,” Branch said.
A year ago, Branch’s Wednesday’s Child story on KSL TV found its way to Megan and Kobi Clay, who had already seen a picture of the teen and were wanting to adopt.
“A friend of mine sent me his Wednesday’s Child,” Megan Clay said. “I was like Kobie, he looks just like you, and I was like I don’t know, I just feel so strong that he’s supposed to be with us.”
“I agreed, just looking at his first picture he does look a lot like me, a lot like my family,” Kobie Clay said.
The Clays made a push for Branch, first mentoring him, then becoming his foster parents. Branch fit perfectly into their lives and hearts, and in July 2021 he became an official member of the family.
“We had our family come out, we haven’t seen them since the pandemic, they live in Texas and we’re able to be here for the adoption,” Megan said. “He met all the family, and it was like he’d known them his whole life, on both sides.”
With the stability of a loving family, which included two older siblings, Branch began to flourish.
“He’s thriving, in school, he can’t wait to go to school, he can’t wait to go see his friends, he’s just thriving,” Megan said.
Branch is also trying new things, like music and swimming.
“When I first came in, they (Megan and Kobie) said I had to do an academic activity and we weren’t sure what I could do at the time,” Branch said. “I started swimming and I’ve been swimming since.”
“He goes in the water swimming and gets out smiling, goes back in and gets back out smiling…smiling from one to the other, he’s just smiles non-stop,” Megan said.
The Clays say Branch brings so much joy to their lives and they truly believe they were meant to be his parents.
“I just want to give him what my dad gave to me, teach those little things, how to work on a car, how to be self-sufficient, how to shave, just teach those little things he’ll need as he goes through life that hopefully one day, he can look back at me and say, thanks for teaching me these things,” Kobie said.
A year ago, living in foster care Branch had no idea what his future would be. But now, with a loving family by his side he says that future is filled with hope.
“It’s really exciting, because I actually have a family now that loves me,” Branch said.
“He was meant to be with us,” says Megan.
The Clays say they are so thankful that Branch has come into their lives, they’re now encouraging other families to act now and consider fostering.
“We were 45 when we started this process, honestly we thought we were going through a mid-life crisis at that time, and all I can say is don’t wait, or it’s never too late,” says Megan.
For more information about children in Utah living in foster care please contact Raise the Future at (801) 265-0444 or visit raisethefuture.org.
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