Staff Profile: Kendra Piotrowski


Olivia Buckel, Senior Editor-in-Chief

Cathedral Prep senior Kendra Piotrowski has many things in her life to be proud of. She is proud of her school, extracurriculars, and friends, but most of all, she is proud of her family.

Kendra was adopted by her maternal grandmother as a child due to her parents’ drug addictions, and Kendra had a unique experience of growing up knowing that she was adopted. Her brother Tylor is adopted by her grandma, her brother Logan was adopted by another family, and her half brother Alex has a different mom.

“I honestly believed that everyone lived with their grandma,” Kendra said. “It wasn’t until I was five that I realized ‘oh, not everyone has this experience.’”

Kendra’s grandmother fought as hard as she could to get Kendra and her siblings out of their parents’ house when she realized how bad the conditions were.

“My parents had a warrant for their arrest and my grandma’s best friend worked at the police station,” Kendra said. “They both worked to get my parents in custody and call CPS [Child Protective Services].”

The reason Kendra’s grandmother’s best friend had to do all this was because CPS did not believe Kendra’s grandma about the conditions the children were living in, so Kendra was forced to go through the foster care system. Kendra ended up staying with her grandmother because of how long the system takes, so her grandmother did not get custody of Kendra until she was five years old.

If Kendra could bring one thing to light about her experience with CPS and adoption, it would be how much she wishes it was normalized.

“Adoption is normal, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or to shame anyone for,” Kendra said. “Not all families do it for money or are bad people, and a lot of families that adopt see kids struggling and offer out their hand, just like my grandma did. She knew my parents could not take care of us, so she stepped up to help and give us a better life.”

Even though Kendra wants the stigma around adoption to disappear, she also wants people to know how many challenges come along with it.

“Being adopted the way that I was came with never feeling normal, and I hated telling people my story, especially when I was meeting people for the first time,” Kendra said. “Not having a father-daughter connection, or even a mother-daughter connection, has been very difficult. Even though my grandma is legally my mom, I will always look at her as a grandma, so not having the actual bond I should have had with my parents has made me feel empty in points of my life.”

Unfortunately, Kendra’s biological father died in February of 2021 from a brain aneurysm, but Kendra still remains in contact with her biological mother.

“My mom is clean and still in my life,” Kendra said. “She works as a drug counselor, but she does not know how to be a mom, so I usually keep my distance.”

The reason Kendra is so proud of this part of her life is because of her grandmother. Kendra feels that her grandmother’s story deserves to be told more than anyone, and she is more grateful for her than anyone in her life.

“My grandma saved my life,” Kendra said. “Without her I would not have the life I have or met the people I have met. She put my brother and I into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and I met parents and kids just like me. The people I met there treat me like their own daughter, and I could not be more grateful for them.”

Kendra hopes that anyone who reads this article who has been adopted can feel seen from her story.

“I just hope my story brings light to someone someday,” Kendra said. “They can know how much drugs can affect someone’s life and their families.”