By Keith Russell

WILLOW PARK, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – As Trinity Christian Academy sophomore Grace Leverton warms up, she doesn’t take anything for granted.

She says, “It’s a big difference between being so young and not having a family until like now where I have a role.” A role on a team, a role in the classroom with a 4.48 GPA, and a role in a great home with her brother JJ, but it didn’t start out that way.

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TCA Girls Basketball Coach Jeff Smith explains, “The way those kids have come up in our school and been so successful academically and athletically, it’s a great story.”

A story of Thomas Leverton and his wife Julie wanting to start a family through adoption. They had no luck in the US, despite their only criteria being children ages 2-12 regardless of race or gender.

He says “my wife and I we knew we had something to give. Our adoption agency encouraged us all along the way to look internationally, because they knew it would be easier.”

Placed on their radar were a 5- and 6-year-old at an orphanage in Taiwan.

There was a small play yard and a basketball hoop. There was also an instant connection.

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Grace says, “I’m just glad I get to be here in the US and have the opportunity I have, this family.”

Thomas adds, “There is a lot of love in our family. Best decision I’ve ever made and I’m thankful every single day. Every time Grace takes the court, it will always be with an appreciation of what is as opposed to what could’ve been.”

Left to right: Julie, Thomas, Grace, and JJ Leverton (Credit: Thomas Leverton)

And a chance to let others know things can bounce their way too. Grace’s lasting message is, “If you don’t have a family, it’s not the end of the world. One may come. Just keep your mind open.”

The Levertons are proof that life is full of possibilities.

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