TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - When we met Madison, 16, outside Green Acres Baptist Church Student Center she told us it was a special day.
It was a cold morning, but she smiled through some shivers as she answered a few questions before going inside.
“Today is my birthday,” Madison said as her chaperone sneaked inside.
What would await this birthday girl was a surprise unlike anything she’s experienced before. She told us as she walked toward the building, she was excited enough about our interview alone.
As she opened the front doors to the student center, it became clearer to her this wasn’t just a sit down interview about her status in the foster care system.
Balloon, dozens of presents, and a sign reading “Happy Birthday” surrounded a table just for her.
“Happy Birthday!” the small crowd of people yelled as she walked closer. She was crowned with a coned party hat not long after.
“I didn't know about it,” said Madison. “Ms. Courtney didn't tell me!”
What we didn’t know is that this birthday party was one of two birthday celebrations she’s ever had.
“It feels good but it makes me kind of sad because I haven’t had a family like this,” said Madison.
After thinking about the last time she could remember being with a family, she told us, “when I was 8. It’s been a while.”
She admitted this party was special. “It feels really important to me.”
The birthday girl only requested one thing during her party. She wanted all the gifts to be handed to her, much like children have their gifts handed to them by their loved ones.
“At first this morning I was having a bad day and then I woke up and I was like ‘something’s going to happen today, I know something’s going to happen today… and it happened!”
Madison was showered with hair and makeup products, a bible, journals, her favorite candy and so much more.
These gifts suited Madison well considering she plans on going to cosmetology school before she graduates high school. That trade is something she said she hopes to use while going to school to become an assistant in the medical field.
“I want to be an RN nursing assistant and then after that I just want to live my life,” said Madison.
Her presents didn’t stop when she was finished unwrapping boxes and gifts. Madison was then treated to a facial and makeover with an East Texas beauty expert.
“I haven’t had a birthday like this in forever,” said Madison.
The 16-year-old didn’t tell us what she wished for when she blew out her candles, but it wouldn’t be too hard to guess.
Madison’s surprise birthday was made possible by several East Texas organizations including The Fostering Collective, Green Acres Baptist Church, The Legacy Closet, Brittney Rountree and many more.
For more information on how to adopt Madison or other East Texas children available for adoption. Please email Brittney.Rountree@dfps.state.tx.us .