• 50°

Graduation 2016: Gray Stone senior recalls adoption

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

MISENHEIMER — Kristina Everhart, a senior at Gray Stone Day School, pushes herself hard, because she doesn’t want to waste the opportunities she’s been given. Kristina was adopted from a Russian orphanage when she was 3 years old.

Kristina doesn’t remember much about her life before she came to live with adoptive parents Vickey and Lanny Everhart in Gold Hill, but she does remember meeting them for the first time, and the first time she arrived at her new home.

“To me, right now, it seems like a dream,” she said.

Everything was different from what she was used to, she remembers. At the time, her new father had a deer head hanging on the wall. Kristina said when she saw it, she ran out of the house screaming.

For Kristina, getting adopted was “like a new start to life,” and she’s been determined to make the most of it. She pushes herself academically, striving to get good grades and excel.

“’I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity that I’ve had to actually have a successful life,” she said, “Because the situation that I was in, I could not have the opportunities that I have here.”

Kristina’s parents saw her face in an advertisement in a paper, and her mom, struck by her resemblance to a sister who died in a car wreck, felt drawn to her. At the same time, the Everharts heard of another child, a 4-year-old boy, Logan, who had just transferred from an orphanage in a different part of Russia. Logan had a lot of medical needs, from arthritis to an intestinal blockage that prevented him from properly absorbing and digesting food.

The Everharts adopted Logan at the same time as Kristina. Kristina said those first few years were spent in hospitals as Logan underwent treatment and surgeries. Kristina said those days are a blur of being taken home late at night, or staying with her new aunt and uncle while her parents stayed at the hospital.

At one point, she said, her family teetered on the edge of bankruptcy from medical costs, and would have fallen if not for the help they received from the community.

“It was difficult for our family . . . and my family’s definitely struggled to recover from that,” she said.

Logan has “come a long way” and his health has improved, but the time left a mark on her family. When Kristina started looking into colleges her junior year, she realized that there was no way for her family to pay for it.

So she cracked down and began applying for scholarships. As of now, she thinks she’ll have her tuition at Pfeiffer University covered for the first three years.

“But it took a lot of hard work,” she said.

Kristina plans to major in nursing at Pfeiffer, and hopes to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. It’s a career choice that’s inspired, in part, by Logan.

This year, Kristina and Logan are both graduating from high school. Logan, who was home schooled, will have a small ceremony at the family’s church, and Kristina said he’s very interested in gemology.

As for Kristina, she hopes she can make her parents proud.

“They gave me this opportunity to have this life,” she said.

And she wants to make the most of it.

Comments

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread