Mountain Grown – A project of 100 Days in Appalachia. Head back to 100 Days' Homepage.

Damion

Fairmont, West Virginia

“I never really had a guaranteed meal time. Usually, I had to cook my own food,

and I had to cook for my brothers. And so that was bad because I never knew

what they wanted to eat."

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"Being adopted, it's easier because I don't have to worry about my brothers getting into anything because, well, now they've got their own mom and dad. And so I don't have to be the active dad and put locks on everything.

"That's easier, and now I actually know when dinnertime is. Before I was adopted, everyone was always careful around me and now that I'm adopted everyone's like — it's just not the same. And then on my adoption party, I got a whole bunch of really cool stuff and that just changed my life."

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"I never really had a guaranteed meal time. Usually, I had to cook my own food, and I had to cook for my brothers. And so that was bad because I never knew what they wanted to eat.

"I had more anger problems back then. I have beat kids up and thrown chairs at kids and thrown chairs at teachers. Usually, they would start picking on me because I was literally smaller than everybody. And the best way to solve a bully is to become a bully of the bully. And one time some kid knocked a paper off my desk. And then he went to pick it up and claim it as his and so I picked him up and body slammed him. 

"I got sent to Highland Hospital, and I've been there four times, so I knew the way around. I knew how to work the system. I knew how to get double snacks. As long as the same people were on night duty I got double snacks."

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"Being adopted, I've met a few of my old friends from a school in Morgantown when I wasn't adopted. One of them was on my football team and he didn't realize because one day I was there, one day I was gone, and he didn't realize what had happened.

"I used to live in Preston County on a goat farm. I loved the goat farm. That was amazing. I used to— every day, I would go out and I would take care of some of the goats. But now, it's just all I've got is a turtle and a dog, so, nothing really to do there."