My twin brother Levi and I were adopted when we were two months old by a woman who wanted children so bad and a husband who didn’t. We had a happy childhood though. When we were four our parents got a divorce and we spent every other weekend driving from Austin to Dallas to see our dad. When we were six our sweet loving mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and shortly after died. She had no family so we moved to Dallas to live with our father leaving everything we’d ever known. It was a sad six months, so very lonely. The only company was my brother. We started spending every weekend at our Aunt Mindy’s in Farmer’s Branch. Our dad’s younger sister. She had four kids and was expecting her fifth. By the time baby Sage was born our dad decided he couldn’t be a parent anymore. So we went to live with his mother, our Nana in Frisco. But Nana was old and she couldn’t look after two seven year olds. So our Aunt Mindy said she had room for one. Nana sent me to share a room with my three girl cousins Sage, Emily, and Taylor. My two boy cousins Tate and Oliver reside in the room beside me. The house was small and cramped and though I was well cared for I was lonely without my brother. When we were eight our Nana had a heart attack and died. My Aunt Mindy had just had another baby Jackson and there was even less room in the small house. Our Nana never left a will so the money was on hold for potentially 10 years. My aunt tried to sell her house but no one wanted a house that expensive. So my brother went to live with our other Aunt Louise in North Carolina. She was single and lived a life of luxury but in a small apartment. When we were 13 she got married and my aunt Mindy had had another baby girl Sadie. Don’t worry she got her tubes tied after this. So I moved to North Carolina and my brother and I were reunited but my happiness was short lived. My new “Uncle” Trae started molesting me, and by the time I was 16 I was being raped almost daily. Levi and I played sports but our practice schedule was off so I would be home alone with Trae for hours while Aunt Louise a botanist was at work. He told me if I told he would send me back to live in Texas. I couldn’t leave my brother again! So I suffered. A month before our 17th birthday Aunt Louise was killed in an car accident. We had to live with my abuser with no one to protect me. One day he was “doing it” when Levi got off practice early and walked in. He beat him so badly that Trae called the cops and had Levi arrested. I told the police what happened and after a rape kit they arrested Trae. He got charged with 18 years. Not enough but at least some. The money came through and Nana’s house sold. Aunt Mindy and Uncle Brett built a new house and Levi and I went to live there. I’m about to graduate. For switching schools more times than we can count we are both graduating with honors. I’m going to Baylor to be a prenatal nurse and he is going to Texas Tech to be a physics teacher. I’ll miss him but I know he isn’t far. He is my rock and I am his. I haven’t moved on but I’m healing. It’s hard but it gets better everyday.
— Loren McCall, age 18