A Little Reality Check for Monday Morning


Here’s a little something to put things in perspective for you on a cold (28 degrees here in Greer, SC) Monday morning. This is an essay written by Anton Cooke, a middle-school student here at Riverside. He wrote this for Thanksgiving as a school assignment about his greatest “family treasure” and gave it to his parents.

My Greatest Family Treasure

            What is a family?  Is it a gang or is it friends?  What does a family see you as?  A maid, a slave, or do they treat you like one of them?  Well this is a gift that many kids have and sometimes take for granted.  Unfortunately, there are some kids out there that not only do they not have food, water, shelter, but… a family.  My Greatest Family Treasure is my family.  I have sometimes taken for granted on that very day when my parents found a way to begin their one and only family.

            It all started when my parents had trird to adopt a little girl from America that my parents thought her mother gave up, but sadly she wanted the girl back and for my parents that little incident brought them all the way back to square one.  It was a devastating blow.  Then a couple weeks later my parents had noticed a little 2 year old boy that belongs to some neighbors across from where my parents lived.  My parents met these people and got together to find out how to adopt children.  As my mom and dad began their long search they came upon a video of me in Russia in June and I was just turning two.  As they got interested and started filling out paper work for me they found out about a little 10 month old girl on September 13th, 1999.  Our parents finally on December 8th, 1999 adopted Elena and I in Ivanovo, Russia in a little orphanage called Shuya where our family journey began!

I remember being at the orphanage when I was eating breakfast when suddenly I was just about to eat my muffin when one of the orphanage workers had picked me up to go and see what is now known as my parents.  I was a little upset and didn’t smile for a while (which had my mom a little worried) but then something happened that I couldn’t explain.  One because I was a baby and two it felt too weird to explain but I started a little smile for my parents.  These were some of the clips that were recorded and that I remember.  My awesome parents taught me English and the American ways of life.  Yeah we did have difficulties and even today we do but that doesn’t change the fact that I have a family who cares for me.

            What is a family?  It is someone who teaches you the ways of life and tells you right from wrong and also tells you that they love you.  What does a family see you as?  A family sees you as a true commitment to them.  They let you do what you might think is best or awesome and at the same time watch over you not because there over protective but because they care.  Elena and I were one of the lucky ones who lost but found a family.  It was all because of God’s miracle.  I see other teenagers or children whose parents don’t care or could care less of what there children do.  That to me is a family without a heart or true soul.  My family is My Greatest Family treasure because I had another chance in life.    


3 comments on “A Little Reality Check for Monday Morning”

  1. Well said Anton! In between your words I see the activity of love. It is love as you have so well expressed, that makes a family. Never perfect but always present.

  2. Wow!! special story!! I’ve adopted my son from the same orphenage in Shuya Ivanovo Russia in 2000, he is now 14 years old!! You are very special children!!

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