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Community Spotlight – Zachary Nelson

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By Elle Nelson, student writer

Zachary Nelson was born on April 21, 2004 in Haiti. Once he got a little older, he was put up for adoption. A few years passed, and Sarah Nelson was looking through a website that had pictures and just a little bit of information about a bunch a kids in Haiti looking to be adopted when she came across Zachary’s picture and fell in love. Though the Nelson family was not looking to adopt at the moment, they decided it was the right thing to do and started taking the steps to adopt him. The adoption process in Haiti is slow; they don’t have a lot of information or documents about the kids, and many of them didn’t even know when they were born, so much of the information on the documents were guesses. Along with that, the conditions were terrible.   There was garbage all over the streets, the systems were a mess and people lined the streets begging for money or food. The Nelsons were allowed to visit Zachary in Haiti, but it took a long, painful two years for them to be able to adopt Zachary and bring him to America. Zachary was five when he came to America. He gained two older sisters, Grace and Elle, a younger brother, Tate, and his parents Russ and Sarah Nelson.

Though this all seems like a happy ending, a lot of the hard work started once he came to America. He didn’t know any English so most of the time his family communicated through pointing or using a few words. Zachary had to learn a lot of basics that you would teach a toddler: manners, how to communicate, what was socially acceptable or not, animals, how to clean yourself etc. When teaching him how to spell and read, it took him so long to spell Zachary that his family decided to have him go by Zac, and it stuck ever since. His family remembers him throwing hour long tantrums in hopes to get what he wants. It was frustrating for both him and his family. Some of his family’s favorite memories are when they took Zac on his first hike and tried to explain to him all the animals he would see. Zac decided to join in exclaiming how they would see an elephant on their hike, or the time when his sister Elle decided to give him pop rocks for the first time. In case you don’t know what pop rocks are, they pop in your mouth and then turn into bubble gum. Once Zac put the candy in his mouth, he started to break down crying thinking he was being punished.

Another important thing in Zac’s life is sports. He plays football and basketball and loves to run. Zac started playing football at young age; he plays both offense and defense. His favorite thing about football is the thrill of running down the field and scoring touchdowns. He loves spending time on and off the field with his teammates. When football season is over, he spends his time with his brother Tate playing basketball and playing games with his comp team. Zac’s pretty fast and enjoys running. He did track for Kaysville City a few years ago and made it to district. He ran the 200, 100, 4 by 100 meter relay and long jump. His favorite thing about playing sports and running is when he wins. His family helps to support and push him to be better. They give him tips and help him get out practicing on his own time. He hopes to play football for the Morgan High School team in a few years, once he gets to high school. For the moment he will continue to play for the Morgan County WFFL league.

Zac loves science, especially chemistry. He loves hands on stuff like mixing chemicals, and like most boys, making things explode. He hopes to become a chemical engineer when he gets older. Zac loves gym, but hates math and English. He loves to socialize with friends and making people laugh. He likes to go to school and spend time with his family. One of Zac’s best friends is his brother Tate. They’re so close in age and love a lot of the same things; they’ve become so close. Zac grew up most of his life in Clinton, Utah, but moved to Morgan this year. He hopes to continue to grow with his sports and his education with the help of his family and friends along the way.

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