Anthony Donalson is the father of three children — two boys and one girl.

But Donalson's struggle is with the abandonment and trauma he experienced in foster care. 

“It was a feeling I didn’t like — I had a feeling of being unwanted, of being unloved and I just didn’t understand why it was happening to me,” Donalson said. “I just want to know who I come from. Which one of my parents do I look like? Do I have my dad’s smile? Do I have my mom’s nose?”

This feeling manifested in depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. Donalson has learned to cope with his struggles, but they often led him to question himself as a father.

Between his job as a peer group advocate at Mental Health Advocates of Western New York and working at Applebee’s, he takes them to the park or to get fried food and ice cream.

"Raising a family for me is something that is very, very, very challenging," Donalson said. "With all the trauma that I've gone through I am just afraid to fail as a father. I look back at my own [biological] father and I don't know him. I can't judge him...but all I know is that with the children that I have I want to make sure I am a part of their life as much as possible. I don't want to have to grow up with the feeling of being unloved or unwanted or not knowing where they came from."