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In a story that will surely tug at your heart strings, a 19-year-old Colorado woman who recently aged out of foster care took out an ad on Craigslist in hopes of renting a family for her upcoming birthday.

Natalie Carson, who currently lives in Westminster, Colorado, told a local TV station that birthdays are especially difficult for her, and she was willing to pay $8 an hour to make them less so this year.

The ad reads in part, “I just want one day that I can feel important and special and like I matter even if I really don’t. I have never had a good birthday so I figure why not this birthday.”

Carson says she was a baby when she was first placed in foster care in Colorado but was adopted and moved to Georgia, where she was abused. She says she then went back into the system when she was 12.

When she aged out of foster care at age 18, Carson says she took a bus back to Colorado, where, with the support of a homeless shelter, she earned her GED and now works and attends college for computer science.

According to “Race And Class In The Child Welfare system,” Black children make up more than 40% of the foster care population, though we represent less than 20% of the nation’s children. In Chicago, for example, 95 percent of children in foster care are black, and the same numbers hold true for cities like New York. In fact, Black children in New York were 10 times as likely as white children to be in state protective custody.

Carson’s entire Craigslist post is below:

“Hi! I am a currently a young female college student looking to rent a family that I can spend time with on my birthday in a few weeks. I aged out of foster care, and I sicne was never adopted, I don’t have a family to spend holidays or my birthdays with. I was placed in a foster care after being severely abused by my parents, so spending time with with my biological mom is not an option. I am not a weirdo or anything, I just was inspired by another girl that rented a family from Cragistlist in California for the holdiays. I just want one day that I can feel important and special and like I matter even if I really don’t. I have never had a good birthday so I figure why not this birthday. I am NOT looking for financial support as I also work. I can pay $8 an hour. Please no replies that are sexually suggestive because I will not answer. Thanks in advance!

Carson says that several people have reached out to her to give her the birthday she deserves — including a YouCaring post which seeks to raise money — and we pray that she gets it and many, many more.

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