COLORADO — She says she has never had a birthday with her family, so she took to Craigslist in the hopes of renting a family to celebrate her birthday with her.
Among the many ads on Craigslist is one posted by 19-year-old Natalie Carson.
“Looking to rent a family that I can spend time with on my birthday in a few weeks,” Carson said.
Carson’s is an unusual but heartfelt message.
“I aged out of foster care and since I was never adopted, I don’t have a family to spend holidays or my birthdays with,” Carson said.
It is a request that to some, may seem so simple. Carson says spending time with a family would help make a usually difficult day special.
“It’s something that I’ve never really had. Of course I’ve had birthdays, but they haven’t really been good. Usually every birthday is really painful and hard,” Carson said.
Carson was a baby when she was placed in foster care in Colorado. She was quickly adopted, and moved with her adoptive family to Georgia.
“They were abusing me, and so I got placed back into foster care when I was 12,” Carson said.
At 18, she aged out of the foster care system. On her own for the first time, she took a bus back to Colorado.
“I really didn’t know anything but I knew I was born here,” Carson said.
Last year in Colorado, more than 200 teens aged out of the foster care system.
“There’s like, something more than just me — because there’s a million more of me,” Carson said.
Experts say it is not unusual for birthdays, graduations and holiday to be difficult. Carson found support at Urban Peak — a shelter that works with young people experiencing homelessness. Carson was able to get her GED and she is now working and attending college, where she’s studying computer science.
“I really didn’t think anyone would really answer (my ad), because I know it’s Craigslist,” Carson said.
But several people have reached out — giving Carson hope that she’ll finally have the birthday she’s always dreamed of.
“I felt like having one day where it’s okay. This about me and it’s my birthday,” Carson said.
Carson says she was inspired to post on Craigslist after she saw a girl in California write a similar ad.
Her birthday is in June, and hopefully it will be the best one yet.