Student finds a stable home

CALEDONIA, Minn. (AP) — Roy Kerrigan has lived most of his life not knowing where he’d live next.

Or how long he’d be there.

Or what strangers he’d be living with.

The Winona Daily News reports that his perseverance in the face of that kind of uncertainty has led to hard-won success — and his recognition as Caledonia High School’s Above and Beyond honoree this year.

Since he was about 5, Kerrigan, his older brother and younger sister have been in the foster care system, he said.

“(My parents) just couldn’t care for children,” the Caledonia High School senior said, adding that he’d see them only during court hearings.

Since being in the foster care system, Kerrigan — who lived in Caledonia through first grade, then moved back for a year in fifth grade — has moved nine times across Minnesota and Wisconsin and lived with six different families. His longest stay at a home was about two years. His shortest, a couple of months.

“It was always kind of tough,” Kerrigan said in a quiet voice from across a table at high school. “You always wondered on the car ride there what would these people be like.”

Some were nice. One was not. And some he fell in love with right away — only to have the hope of a permanent family ripped away.

“I was supposed to be adopted twice,” Kerrigan said behind a stoic face.

The first time was when he was in fifth grade. He and his sister had been taken from a home in Caledonia — the city being the closest thing to a hometown Kerrigan has — and moved to a family living in Bloomington. The two were told they were being adopted — a process that takes about a year, Kerrigan said.

But a lot can happen in a year.

Kerrigan’s sister wasn’t adjusting well and after a few months the family decided not to adopt her.

Kerrigan pleaded to stay. He even wrote a letter to a deciding judge that he wanted to stay with the family.

“I was really attached to that family,” Kerrigan said.