Madison was born to parents who divorced when she was a toddler. Her father was awarded custody. Her mother was no longer involved in her life.
Her father, an alcoholic, couldn’t keep a job and or a home. They lived in shelters or with friends, or spent nights at different hotels when he had
the money. Madison was placed in state custody when she was 13. She stayed in foster care for three years.
As Madison celebrated birthdays while she was in foster care, she knew a permanent family through adoption was unlikely for her. After all, the average
age of children in foster care adopted in Arkansas is close to six years old, with only about 10% of youth in foster care ages 15 and older being
Madison came to Vera Lloyd when she was 15. She only spent six weeks at our children’s home. Her story was destined to end differently.
Martha and David Kralicek of Russellville found Madison’s photo on Project Zero’s Heart Gallery. They traveled to Monticello to visit Madison and welcomed
her to their home last July. Her adoption was final on January 5.
“We all learned a lot,” Martha said. “We had not had a child living at home ever during our 11-year marriage. It was an adjustment, but we came together
as a family.” Madison is earning her allowance, keeping her room clean, helping with laundry and learning to cook. She finished her last semester
with a 3.08 GPA—the best grades she has ever earned. She is active in band, choir and church.
Madison is thrilled to have a new family and a permanent home. With one dream fulfilled, she told her new parents of her other dreams. Top on the list?
A trip to New York City. For her 16th birthday in December, Martha and David gave her a snow globe with the Statue of Liberty. She was absolutely
giddy over her next present: round-trip tickets to the Big Apple.
The family visited New York the week before Christmas, seeing the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Tiffany’s, Central
Park and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. They stayed near Times Square and, best of all, they saw a production of Wicked on Broadway.
It was another dream come true for Madison.