Day overcomes struggles


Chelsey Cressman, Feature Editor

Senior Alencia Day waited to meet a new family on the south side of Chicago in 2004, which would soon adopt her. The family consisted of the parents Keith and Paulette Day with their daughters Tami and Tami’s daughter, Abby from Elgin, IIL.

“[We] fell in love with her the first day,” Tami said. “We met with her again, about a month later and by late summer, she was placed with my parents.”

Alencia was taken away from her birth mother at the age of two and went into foster care with her five other siblings. Alencia’s birth mother, at the time, was taking drugs and she got kidney failure and living off of dialysis. At the time, her mother was living with her boyfriend who she knew for 11 years. Two years ago on March 17th, at the age of 39 her mother passed away during Day’s sophomore year.

“Her boyfriend was the cause of her death because he drugged her,” Day said. “I was completely shocked when I heard but he got sent to jail for what he did to her for eight to nine years.”

Before Day officially moved in with Keith and Paulette, there was a farewell supper party for her and her five siblings. All of her siblings were placed in sets of two’s except her. One of Day’s sisters was supposed to be placed with her but was encouraged by their foster parent at the time that a black child does not belong with a white family. The last time Alencia got to see her siblings was in sixth grade, but they still talk as much as they can.

“Alencia didn’t hear the words her foster mom said,” Tami said. “She didn’t see color, nor did we. We came together because of love, not blood, religion or race.”

When Day turned 16 she moved in with her foster sister, Tami. Keith and Paulette at the time were living in Elgin, IIL. They moved to Fargo, N.D for better opportunities and a better community.

“There are times where we have our ups and downs,” Alencia said. “I mean I enjoy living with them but I can’t say that I’m happy all the time.”

Tami and daughter, Abby, had anxiously awaited an opportunity for them to be closer to Alencia. According to Abby, Alencia is like a sister, and always has been.

“Abby has been thrilled to have her,” Tami said. “Not only closer, but in the same house.”

Tami looks after Alencia as if she was her own daughter and encourages her daily. Tami often reminds Day the future is in her hands. She is proud of how strong she is for overcoming struggles every day because it is not her fault, but it is from what happened to her that led her into foster care in the first place.

“[She] is a bubbly, sparkly, supper-friendly, fun and loving girl,” Tami said. “She has been victim of some really unfortunate situations in life and she is overcoming.”

Alencia said she has learned from this experience to never do drugs because she does not want to hurt the people around her like her birth mother.

“She is a survivor,” Tami said. “What I do encourage, is that God has a plan for her life and she has a lot to offer this world.”