Our nation has suddenly been immersed in riots, protests, anger and racial divide after the shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.
We’ve heard a lot of disparate voices and opinions on the issue, but one perspective we appreciated reading is that of Addie Mettler, a 15-year-old talented catcher/infielder for the NorCal Firecrackers 16U team coached by her father, Greg.
Addie, a Top 5-ranked player in our 2023 Extra Elite 100 rankings, has an amazing story as she was adopted by Greg and April Mettler, a white couple from Northern California who lovingly took in the then two-year-old black toddler (read their story below!).
On Tuesday, Addie posted her thoughts on what’s happening in the country on Instagram; here is her perspective (reprinted with permission). Note: the Instagram post transcript has been edited for minor corrections and modifications to make easier to read…
I’ve been avoiding talking about this subject for a while, not because it’s not important to me but because it is so important to me that i haven’t found the words to express how much it hurts.
George Floyd was a wonderful man who didn’t deserve anything that those cops did to him and because of that cop’s horrible actions a black man was killed.
Derek Chauvin was charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter which is what he deserves. I know we are all hurting and I know what happened to Floyd makes us mad.
But what I do not appreciate are all the negative things that have been said and done to GOOD white cops as well as white people.
Being black I’ve always been told, “The color of your skin will not define the type of person you are but your actions will.”
If that’s the case, then why are we bashing on the good white people in this world that do want to stand with us and help us through this time? They may not understand how we are feeling but they wanna help.
I will always stand with good people no matter their race.
Since I was raised by a white family but born black, I have seen two sides to almost every story; that’s why to me the black community and the white community both equally hold a place in my heart.
Because I am a people person, I love people and I wish everyone could do good in this world but it’s not realistic. It’s hard for me to watch people looting stores and burning down bars saying that this is for the “Black Lives Matter movement,” when some of those people that own those stores are BLACK.
Basically we’re saying that no one’s life matters because you’re affecting all races when you do these things. You don’t know if a white man owns the store or if a black man owns it; it’s an excuse for you to go do illegal things then claim it’s justice for George Floyd.
God put us in this world to come together and fight for what is right. So can we stop disrespecting races and come together as sons and daughters of Christ?
Can us Good Samaritans come together no matter if we are black, white, Asian etc.?
We can make sure Floyd gets justice in a peaceful way. Spread more Love. Not Hate.
--- Addie Mettler, Northern California
Favorite 2019 Stories: The Winding Path to a Complete Family... the Addie Mettler Adoption Story
Originally posted Dec. 15, 2019 on Extra Inning Softball
Hard to believe, but we're wrapping up the 2019 year in a few weeks!
Beginning this Tuesday, we are going to count down our Top 15 Softball Stories of the Year, the ones we feel were the most impactful and relevant to the sport of softball--from youth, club and high school all the way up to college, internal and pro.
We're also going to run some of our favorite stories of 2019, including ones like today's that we published in the Spring.
Addie Mettler is a promising athlete from Northern California who has a touching family story as she was adopted by the Mettler family which is definitely all about softball!
Addie helped lead the Nor Cal Firecrackers - Mettler team (yep, coached by her dad, Greg) to a 17th place finish at PGF 14U Nationals this summer and was named PGF All-Tournament after she had a game-winning hit for the Firecrackers.
So far in high school, she's pulling down a 4.3 GPA as a freshman in high school. Addie made the JV volleyball team and is currently playing for the JV basketball team.
Her future, though, appears to be on the softball field and Addie's been noticed by top programs nationwide (including having camped this summer at UCLA and in the fall at Washington).
The athletic accolades are great for her family, but mom and dad are especially appreciate of how well she's done in the classroom.
"April and I are incredibly proud of how strong her academics have developed," says her father. "School was a struggle when she was younger but Addie's work ethic in the classroom has matched her work ethic on softball and it is showing in her grades."
Here's more on what we felt was one of most inspiring stories of 2019!
--- Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball
The Winding Path to a Complete Family: the Addie Mettler Adoption Story
originally published March 19, 2019 on Extra Inning Softball
Greg and April Mettler both played sports in college—football for him at Sonoma State and softball for her at Santa Rosa Junior College—both in Northern California.
Eventually the married couple would get into coaching youth fastpitch softball as their oldest daughter, Alexis (now 21 years old), would grow up to be a four-time All-Conference honoree and All-State selection as a senior before she'd go on to play for the University of Virginia.
But that wouldn’t be the end of their softball journey nor their family increasing in size—far from it, for the mom, dad and athletic daughter who live in Northern California.
The Mettlers felt they needed one more addition to make their family complete, but it wouldn’t be easy, for it would entail a white family of three opening their arms to adopting a young black girl in foster care.
Here’s the heart-warming story of how a beautiful two-year-old came into their lives and today is starring on the softball fields for her parents’ Firecrackers team as one of the top players in the 2023 class and an Extra Elite 100 candidate.
This is the adoption story of Addie Mettler as told by her father, Greg…
In 1997, April and I became first-time parents when Alexis Mettler was born. After a few years we felt it was time to add the final member to our family as we had both always wanted to have two kids.
What we took for granted with having the first child became the beginning of an emotional, sometimes heart-breaking, but ultimately amazing journey that would bring Addie Mettler into our lives.
For approximately eight years after our first was born, April and I tried for a second. We visited doctors, tried Invitro but nothing worked.
As we continued down the path for our second child, through the tears and the heartbreak, we never once wavered knowing our family was meant to be four in number. What gave us strength was the amazing support of family along with the love and support from our oldest, Alexis.
We finally realized that our second child was already born… God had just not connected us yet.
Once we decided to head down the adoption path, it started a journey for us that is indescribable.
You began a process that makes you ask yourself questions you never thought to ask. You are asked about the obvious issues such as gender and age.
Then comes the tough questions: what medical issues you are ok with? Would you take on siblings or not? and the biggest, are you open to adopting a child of a different race?
Though we were open to all races, you begin to ask yourself if you are ready to face things that, as a child, you never had to deal with due to race.
But in the end, all those questions that seemed so significant in a sterile office setting disappeared. All the concerns about what you are ready for or not disappears.
Why would they disappear?
The answer was clear: the day came when we were introduced to this beautiful young girl, only a few months shy of turning two-years-old. A young lady who, the moment she waddled into the room, stole our hearts.
This was the day we met Addie.
One cannot describe the feeling of seeing a child walk into a room and knowing immediately God destined her to be part of our family. For us, it could only be described as your heart being a puzzle and the final piece was just put in place.
Addie did not have the easiest life up to that point. She was removed from her biological family’s care due to neglect and for her safety. When most kids would be growing up surrounded by love and security, Addie was placed in to the foster care system, a system that is staffed by some incredible social workers with a near-impossible job.
We knew we wanted her in our lives and began the adoption process. A few weeks later, April received a call while I was away on business. It was happening the very next day and I’m not sure how they did it but in one night April and Lexi converted our spare room into a princess room. Addie, we found out, LOVED the Little Mermaid.
The day she joined our family Addie came with just one outfit and one toy, but also one of the most amazing spirits to grace this crazy world.
Our family was complete.
This was the just the beginning of our amazing journey. We were already a family of athletes, with my wife and I both playing collegiate sports and Addie’s older sister on the path to do the same.
At the time of the adoption, athletics were the farthest thing from our mind with Addie. She loved to sing and dance, especially to Disney movies.
At her our first visit to the family doctor, they noted her knees had a slight flex inward and that may make running difficult as she grew. She was slightly asthmatic and small for her age. The only thing that we cared about was she was in overall good health and now part of our family.
We continued to be an active outdoor family going to Hawaii (even though Addie was initially scared to death of water), snow skiing, hiking at Yosemite, camping and, yes, out on the softball field where April and I coached a travel team.
Through all these activities one of the guiding forces and support for Addie was her older sister. She was a role model as a successful student-athlete as Addie pushed through fears in life.
And then Addie’s own softball journey began.
From the age of 2 on when we had practice, you would see Addie out on the field watching and copying what she saw.
As time when on and Addie started to grow, her legs became straighter and stronger. Though still small, her athleticism began to develop. April and I decided that we wanted to her to experience other sports because all she knew was softball at that point.
We put her on a local swim team when she was 8 and she excelled. We had her play basketball and she excelled. She even joined an all-girl flag football team in a league filled with only male teams and she excelled.
Still, although she shined in all these other sports, we could not keep her away from the softball field.
When Addie turned seven-years-old we decided to sign her up for the local coach pitch team in the area.
After her first game of coach pitch at a local park, she came over to April and me and asked, “When do we travel?”
We looked at her and just chuckled, for it was one of those moments as a parent from which there was no turning back.
That next year a family friend asked Addie to join their travel team, RR Gold 10U. This start began a bit of a journey through teams for no other reason than, because she started so young—her teams kept aging up and she still had three years, then two years, then one year of 10’s left.
Away from sports, the journey has been amazing but not without its challenges.
One of the cutest moments was when Addie was 5. We were hanging out in the house while she was outside playing with neighborhood kids. Addie came running in out of breath and asked, “Mom, Dad, am I adopted?”
We looked at her and simultaneously said, “Yes.”
She said “OK” and ran off to play more.
And there came the challenges, like the first time racial comments reared their ugly head. Addie was shocked at the speed at which I shot out of the house and down to the school.
There have been nights with tears as Addie asks us questions as she tries to understand how a mother or father can give a child away or hurt them to the point they have to be taken away.
A question that there is no good answer to.
Through this journey, the key to making it work has been communication.
We will face more bumps in the road as we continue down this path. But the one thing we, as a family, know in our hearts is that we can overcome anything with our love and commitment to each other.
Addie’s Adoption Insights
Do you sometimes wonder about the circumstances of your birth?
Although I was too young to remember anything that had happened before my adoption, it still leaves me with questions that to this day still can’t be answered.
What exactly did I do to you (birth mother) to make you leave? Will you ever come back? How come you gave me up?
So many more things that I have been curious to find out come to mind.
What has it been like for you you, being adopted?
Since I have been with my parents from the age of 2, I've never thought less of them or said, “You aren’t my parents.”
They have taught me and raised me to be strong, kind and considerate so there is no doubt that they have a huge part in who I have become.
People sometimes ask me, “Do they ever treat you differently because you aren’t their real kid?” My face always goes in shock because they treat me even better than my biological parents ever could.
Yes, they push me because they want me to succeed, but what good parent doesn’t want what is best for a kid? If I wasn't adopted by my parents, I probably wouldn’t even be playing softball. What happened to me sucks and I think about it all the time, but so much good has come out of these events and I couldn’t be happier.
Has the difference in racial backgrounds been an issue?
More now than ever, especially since I am going into high school next year, racial comments have come up.
At school some kids will tell me, “Your parents don’t really love you, they only kept you because you are good at sports… why else would they keep a black kid?”
Obviously, I know that these remarks aren’t true in any way, but these kids have me thinking about things that kids shouldn't have to think about.
But in the end I am glad these things were said, because it has taught me to be confident and not to care about what other people think.