Current Weather
The Spy FM

A Second Chance For A Father And Foster Son

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
June 14, 2013

In 2004, Horace Atwater Jr. took in Adrian Hawkins as a foster child. Adrian was a teenager at the time, “this little, skinny kid, about 14,” Horace recalls. “You didn’t really have any clothes. You had mismatched socks.”

Adrian had lived a difficult life as a child. He lived in several group and foster homes before moving in with Horace. “I remember times being hungry, seeing drugs and all kinds of stuff,” Adrian tells Horace at StoryCorps in Atlanta. “I mean, some things had to happen for me to be in foster care.”

When Adrian asks why Horace, now 61, would “care so much for a stranger,” it’s clear that Adrian didn’t just find a home with Horace; the two found a home in each other. As Adrian describes it, Horace “had it good one time,” but then his life took a turn.

“I had a personal experience where I lost everything — a wife, two fine sons — because of drug addiction and anger,” Horace explains. “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,” Horace continues. “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,” Horace says.

His foster dad may have made mistakes in his past, Adrian says, “but you’re the most influential person in my life,” he tells him. “I’m just glad that I met you.”

Horace is proud of how well his one-time foster son is doing today. Adrian, now 22, hopes to become a pharmacist. “You know, it makes me look like I’m smart, but you’re the one who’s smart,” Horace laughs. “God, for you to become the man that you are, I am so proud of that.”

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center