“He’s our last puzzle piece.” Central Texas teenager finds forever home

After a tough foster care journey, Braxton Calvert says he feels free after he was officially adopted Thursday morning.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:46 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Before he was even adopted, Braxton knew what kind of home he wanted.

“Family is supposed to be a group of people that love and care for you and they direct you to doing something positive,” Braxton said.

That’s what he told KWTX last fall when he was featured as part of “Finding a Family.

Now, he’s found that with Amanda and Lauren Calvert. The Calverts began fostering Braxton about seven months ago.

Before that, the Calverts knew they wanted to adopt and foster, and had been licensed for several years. Lauren and Amanda had several placements before, but they knew immediately Braxton was different.

“As soon as I saw this kid walk through my door, I knew that I was meant to be his mom,” Lauren said.

During his adoption hearing on Thursday, Braxton’s case worker, Tonya Renyolds, said it hasn’t always been easy for him.

“The last placement before this home, Braxton begged me not to leave him there,” Reynolds said. “I told him I didn’t have a choice, but I told him it wouldn’t be for long. That was the longest drive back to Waco, four and a half hours, because all I did was pray that I would find him a family.”

After the adoption hearing, that’s all changed. Several people, including several people with CPS spoke on behalf of Braxton and the Calverts, and they all emphasized how happy Braxton was with Lauren and Amanda, and perfect their family is.

“And Amanda and Lauren, I love you two. Y’all have welcomed him into your hearts and your homes, and I have seen the connection that y’all have made,” Reynolds said through tears. “And Braxton, I know you’re happy because I look at those amazing eyes of yours and you just smile and glow. You have such a big future in front of you.”

While the adoption was finalized today, Calverts were a family long before this moment.

“I already feel at home, so nothing’s going to change,” Braxton said. “I just feel free now.”

Instead of worrying about where he will be going next, Braxton is looking forward to high school, getting his learner’s permit and playing sports, with the Calverts cheering him on.

“Honestly, everybody else blends in, but I can see them two just in the corner of the stands, just sitting there,” Braxton said.

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