Adrian Hawkins spent his childhood bouncing between foster families.
It wasn’t until 2004, when he was a teenager, that he found a home with Horace Atwater Jr.
The two came to StoryCorps to remember when they first met.
Adrian is now a senior in college, studying biology. He still talks to Horace every day.
Click here for the transcript.
Adrian Hawkins (AH): I remember times being hungry, seeing drugs and all kinds of stuff. I mean, some things had to happen for me to be in foster care, but I'm glad I'm with you.
HA: Thank you. I'm glad you're with me too.
AH: Why do you care so much for a stranger?
HA: I had a personal experience where I lost everything--a wife, two fine sons--because of drug addiction and anger. I didn't experience my own sons growing up. I would only see them on visitation periods, but when my wife remarried, she married a man that embraced my sons as though they were his own. He has been an excellent father to them, and I am so grateful that he embraced them the way he did. I'm also grateful for the opportunity that I had to embrace you. So, that's the least that I owe--the least I could do.
AH: I mean, you know you had it good at one time. And I know you messed it up, but you're the most influential person in my life, like, I'm just glad that I met you.
HA: I am so glad that you came into my life, and you're doing so well. You know, it makes me look like I'm smart, but you're the one who's smart [Laughter.] God, for you to become the man that you are, I am so proud of that.