Senior Peyton Barton shares her and her siblings’ adoption stories

Senior Peyton Barton and her siblings each have unique stories of how they have joined their family

Kat Anglemyer, JAG Reporter

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Senior Peyton Barton was adopted by Vicki and Terry Barton from Overland Park when she was just one day old. Her sister, 14 year old Presley was adopted from Pennsylvania when she was approximately a month old and Muunjuza was adopted from the Congo when he was about three, less than a year ago.

“I think what makes our family unique is just the fact that we are very multicultural and we are a biracial family, that’s obvious when you look at us,” Vicki said. “We actually have a daughter, Presley, that’s in middle school and she’s biracial and then obviously Muunjuza who’s African and then Peyton who is the palest person in the family.”

Vicki describes why her and her husband Terry chose to adopt each of their children.

“I think for each of our kids we just kind of had a different reason [to adopt],” Terri said. “With Peyton, we just wanted to become parents for the first time so that’s what prompted us to first adopt. Then with Presley, we just wanted to expand our family because we got to see how awesome it was to be parents and we just wanted Peyton to experience having a sibling. Then we actually lost a close family member a few years ago, our nephew Corbin. Because of that we decided that we wanted to do something to honor his memory. We decided what better way to do that than to expand our family and adopt [Muunjuza]. The country where he’s from, it’s the poorest in the world, and there’s just no hope there. We just decided that living that way with no hope is a terrible way to feel. So our nephew Corbin, his life motivated us to make a difference for somebody else’s life.”

People like Muunjuza exist and we want to make a difference.”

— Vicki Barton

Vicki said that with the adoption of Peyton, her and her husband had to learn how to live more for others.

“I think with each [adoption] it’s made us continue to want to live for them and do things for them,” Vicki said. “Before Peyton arrived, we were just, I don’t want to say self-centered, but everything was about us because we didn’t have any responsibilities for anybody else and we could just kind of do what we wanted to do. If we wanted to take a vacation somewhere that didn’t include something like Disneyland, we could go where we wanted to go. When Peyton arrived, it definitely taught us what life was really about. It just gave us the opportunity to see what parenthood was like and to kind of help mold and shape Peyton into the person that she has grown into.”

Peyton says the worst part of the adoption process is the wait.

“If I could change anything about the process, I would make it shorter,” Barton said. “Depending on whether it’s within the state or the country, or international, it can take months or a lot of countries take two years.”

Vicki describes how adopting Muunjuza has kept him safe.

“With Muunjuza it’s really opened our eyes to these poor countries and these kids who are orphans that were in need of families,” Vicki said. “When we found out about Muunjuza, we were able to get him moved to a safer part of the country but when we first heard about his story, he was getting to eat three times a week. We would feel really guilty sitting back here knowing he existed and he’s on the other side of the globe while we have a refrigerator full of food and we are eating every meal and snacking in between meals. When we heard about Muunjuza eating three times a week, having no access to water, no bed and very little clothing. In all the pictures we have, the orphans have no clothing. So that definitely I think has changed our lives because now we realize there’s a bigger picture and it’s not about how much money you have in the bank or the clothes that you wear or the cars that you drive, it’s more about knowing people like Muunjuza exist and we want to make a difference. That has definitely changed our lives so much so that we are doing it again. We have a daughter that’s over in the Congo that we are trying to get her here so we have one more to add to the family.”

People often react strangely when they hear that the children in the Barton family are adopted, according to Peyton.

“Most people don’t realize that I’m adopted because I look so much like my adoptive parents, but people ask some weird questions. I think the weirdest question I got about my little brother, since he’s from the middle of Africa was ‘will he be black?’, so that was a little weird.”

With the adoption of her younger brother, Muunjuza, Peyton now spends her time playing with him.

“I don’t really remember much how [my life] changed when we got my little sister because I was about three at the time, but since I’ve gotten my little brother, it’s been full of lots of  little adventures like being dragged around the house to do things.”

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