Teacher adopts teenage student with special needs without hesitation

When Troya Yoder adopts a teenager with special needs, he or she calls her Yoder.

As a school paraprofessional, Troya helps kids in class. Troya met David when he was 13 and would spend time with him and his class during her recess.

Because her friend David was going to be put up for adoption, one of the PE teachers at the Alabama school took her aside and told her that. She said that she and her husband would adopt him.


“The words just came out of my mouth. I didn’t write them down.” As I thought about it, I realised that there was no way I was going to risk giving him up to a bad family. Her question was, “Why couldn’t we be his family?”

She went home and told her husband and three older children about her decision. They all agreed with her, but Troya didn’t know how to start. She was afraid to ask for help.

In the end, even though the adoption process took a long time and a lot of paperwork, David moved in with her.


In the beginning, David only came in for a few hours on a Friday afternoon. Then, he came in on the weekends and then full time.

“It was so much easier than I thought it would be.” I was very worried about how he would adapt to a new home, new family, and a new schedule when he moved to a new place. No, he wouldn’t. The answer is no. He might cry. “Would he be afraid?” Troya said this.


There was nothing to be afraid of. From the start, he acted like he had been living here for a very long time.

In his new home, David thrived thanks to all the love and support he got from his new family. In school, he learned how to do things for himself that he had never been taught before, like make breakfast and take his medicine.


His school work started to get better thanks to Troya’s hard work. She even found out that his delayed speech and developmental disability were caused by a rare chromosome disorder.

The same way we learned one thing and then moved on to the next thing. Whenever I saw him, he had a way of surprise me.

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