A new additionI first met Anthony at a family Christmas party. My cousins were taking in foster children, and this tiny little baby with loads of dark hair was one of those children. The difference between this baby and any other foster children they had, is that they fell in love with this one…in fact, we all did. Soon Anthony was a part of their family and ours. He had joined a rather large family, with over 250 people all living here in Casper…and that was back then, we are much larger today. Thankfully for Anthony, he didn’t have the chance to feel overwhelmed by that, because coming in as a newborn, it was all just natural to him. It was all he ever knew.

As things go in big families, there were times when we didn’t see much of the cousins and their children, and the bigger a family gets, the harder it is to get together. Such was the case with Anthony and me. Then one day when I was attending grandparents’ day at my grandson, Caalab’s class, and Caalab was showing me his desk, I passed by a desk with the name tag, Anthony McDaniels on it. I quickly looked around and sure enough, there was Anthony, in my grandson’s class. I told Caalab that Anthony was his cousin, and he said with a smile, “He is?” I told him to tell Anthony that they were cousins, and when he did, Anthony said, “No, we aren’t” When Caalab told me that, I said, “Tell Anthony to ask his mother about it?” Well, the very next day, Anthony came to school all smiles and told Caalab that they were, indeed, cousins. They were both excited about Anthony McDanielsthat then. I don’t think they had classes together after that year, but they always knew that they were cousins.

Anthony has grown into a terrific young man, who is an asset to our family. He is full of fun and always smiling. Anthony is a man who does his own thing, like wearing a suit to school sometimes, and asking others to join him. At a time when most kids are dressing down, he dresses up, and that is very cool. People have to be comfortable enough in their own skin to do what they like, even if they do it alone. Way to go Anthony!! Today is Anthony’s birthday!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

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