One in a million


Chris Sawalski

photoOn Jan. 6, 1998, a little miracle was born in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. His mother was only 21 years old at the time, and his father was nowhere to be found.

His mother knew just as well as anybody, without a father, there would be no life for this boy. He would never be able to get a good education, he would never have enough to eat, and he would never get a good job. The only thing she could do for him was put him up for adoption.

Later that year on June 20, this boy would get a new start in a new country with a new family. Almost instantly this boy was adopted and given an American name, Tommy Benner. His adopted family resides in Huntley, and he couldn’t be happier.

He loves the American culture and he doesn’t even want to think about what his life would’ve been like without a father in Korea. Being another race, Benner never felt like he was a part of society, like he didn’t fit in.

All throughout elementary and middle school the people he thought were his friends made fun of him when he trusted them with his birth name he was given in South Korea.

He thought that he would never fit in, but then some of the high school football players asked him if he wanted to join the team, and he was ecstatic.

“I didn’t really have a lot of friends and I can honestly say that my teammates are like my family,” said Benner. “I spent the whole summer bonding with them.”

Benner is now a member of the football team and he is a JV bowler. He is fitting in much better now and has many close friends.

“I couldn’t imagine life any other way, and I love the life that I have,” said Benner.

He truly is one in a million.