"Usually every birthday is really painful and hard," Natalie Carson told ABC affiliate 7NEWS. This year, Carson is hoping to change all that by finding a family online that she can spend some time with in real life.
"I just want one day that I can feel important and special, and like I matter even if I really don't," her Craigslist ad reads. "I have never had a good birthday so I figure why not this birthday."
Carson, now 19, grew up in foster care and was never permanently adopted. She eventually aged out of the system after turning 18.
Her biological parents were abusive, as was one of her foster families.
"Of course, I've had birthdays, but they haven't been good," Carson said, reflecting on her difficult upbringing.
She found a support system at Urban Peak, a Denver shelter that helps young people experiencing homelessness. With their assistance, she was able to obtain employment as well as her GED.
Carson is currently working and attending college where she is taking computer science courses.
As for the Craigslist ad, Carson said she didn't think anyone would actually give her an answer. Instead, she's been surprised by the response and may have already decided on a family to spend her special day with.
"This is about me and it's my birthday," Carson told 7NEWS. "I don't have this big, elaborate plan or anything. I just wanted it to be good."