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My Story, My Past This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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To me, adoption is a beautiful thing. Sixteen years ago I was given up for adoption. Although I know some information about my past, the question of who am I is puzzling to me. Here is my story.

I was born Carmen Julia to a couple who lived in Chihuahua, Mexico. I don’t know their last name. My birthparents were poverty stricken. When I see those commercials on television about poor people who live in poor countries, I tend to believe that is who my birthparents are, and who I once was. I was their ninth child. I don’t even know if I was born in a hospital, or a cardboard box my birthparents called home. I was born on the twenty-seventh of May, and for three months, Chihuahua was my home. I only lived there briefly because my birth parents had no money to feed us. To top that, I was suffering from an illness. They needed to get me out of there, which they did. At that point, I was nobody’s child.

At that same time in New York, a young couple who had been married for eight years was desperately seeking a child. When they found that I was free for adoption, they knew that there was hope. On August thirteenth, I was renamed Jennifer Anne and adopted. The adoption united that young couple and me. We were now no longer a world apart, but a family. The prayers of four people had been answered, and my life was renewed.

As I grow today, like so many other kids, I still wonder about what happened seventeen years ago. I wonder about my past, my heritage, and about the family who gave me up. When I was younger, my parents explained why Daddy has strawberry-blond hair and I do not. Or why Mommy has a light complexion, while mine is dark. Yet, those are only facts to me. The answer to my question is hard one. I want to know why I am the way I am. It is my struggle for identity. I understand why my birthparents could not keep me or my siblings. I want to know what my siblings look like. Do they have brown hair like me? Is my heritage based on Aztec beliefs? Do I act like my birthfather or mother? I want to know these answers. I would love to see them, even if only for one second. I love my adoptive parents. They are my one and only parents. They have given me a life no one else could have. They are my world. But somewhere out there is my blood line. My ancestors are the ones I have to blame for my acts of stubbornness and praise for giving me the talents I have. No one else feels the way I do. I know I have an interesting history, and yet I cannot reflect on it. It is hard to look in the mirror and not know from whom I inherited my features. It is difficult, but I am still hopeful. One day I will find the answers I am looking for.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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