Wednesday’s Child reunions: Antonio 14 years later

Antonio was Wednesday's Child in October 2003

Wednesday's Child from October 31, 2003 Antonio was adopted by Melanie and Vernon. (KOIN)
Wednesday's Child from October 31, 2003 Antonio was adopted by Melanie and Vernon. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — November is National Adoption Awareness Month and in honor of that, we look back on a few foster children who found their forever homes after appearing on Wednesday’s Child.

Shortly after being a Wednesday’s Child back in October 2003, little Antonio was adopted by Vernon and Melanie Johnson, who also have 2 older daughters.

Jeff Gianola holds little Tony in an October 2003 Wednesday's Child segment. (KOIN)
Jeff Gianola holds little Tony in an October 2003 Wednesday’s Child segment. (KOIN)

“I think it’s better for me here than it would have been, the alternative,” Tony said. “I think my life is better and built well by my mom and dad. I think it was for the best that I was adopted.”

Fourteen years later, Tony is doing well in school and has a close relationship with his family.

Melanie said when she watches the old video of Tony, it says a lot about how he has grown up.

“You tried different hats on him. He’s a kid that wears a lot of different hats,” she said. “He’s a scholar, he’s an athlete, he’s a musician, he’s an inventor, he’s a creator, he wants to be a firefighter. He just wears many hats. He loves music. You had him playing on the little piano [now] he plays the trumpet in jazz band, in concern band, in marching band. I feel like I’m getting a glimpse of my little boy before I ever met him.”

Tony and his brother just laugh at that old video because, “I look, you know, small and he thought it was funny,” Tony said.

About a year after they adopted Tony, the Johnsons adopted Mickey and the boys became brothers with a tight bond.

“He sticks up for people,” Mickey said. “He’s nice and he cares for you.”

Vernon said welcoming the boys into their family was life-changing.

“[I’m] 58 years old, these 2 guys have kept me so young. They’ve kept me going. They can’t sit on the couch, they need to the football field or basketball court or someplace,” Vernon said. “Almost every night of the week we’re going somewhere to do some physical activity so I can’t slow down.”

Melanie said she never looked back once she made the decision to adopt Tony and he looks up to her.

“My mom — I like that she’s pretty much not going to stop until she finishes something,” Tony said. “Like right now she’s taking classes at Linfield.”

And Tony says his dad promised not to retire for a while.

“He’s agreed not to retire until Mickey graduates and it’s gonna take a while, so it’s a self sacrifice right there,” Tony said. “I really admire that.”

Jeff Gianola with Antonio, his Wednesday's Child from October 31, 2003. (KOIN)
Jeff Gianola with Antonio, his Wednesday’s Child from October 31, 2003. (KOIN)