On November 17th, 16-year-old Anthony was officially adopted by his high school English teacher. After spending more than 7 years in foster care, Bennie Berry decided to make him a part of her family just in time for the holidays.

“During a conversation I had with students about family, some of the kids made comments that I should take them home since a lot of them refer to me as a caregiver,” Berry, who teaches at Pathways Learning Center in Beaumont, Texas, told People Magazine. “But Anthony turned to me and said I could take him home, for real. That’s when he told me he was a foster kid and was up for adoption.”

In response, she told him she’d consider it under one condition. “The only deal we had was that he had to be good!” she said. “Any kid of mine can’t be bad or get in trouble!”

“The only thing I knew about adoption was what I saw on TV, and it’s usually a husband and wife team,” she explained. “I just didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. But I filled out the inquiry because I wanted to know more.”

Anthony moved in with her in March, and the adoption was finalized 8 months later. “I’m learning how to be a real mom. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she shared. “It’s worth it.”

TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex on IG

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