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It's Something Amazing
‘We need to talk.’ Those words still ring in my head today. Those four simple words: ‘We need to talk.’ That’s how my mom started the conversation. So you may think that those words would mean something bad…something had happened…but they meant to me something more.
I was a baby when it happened…I don’t remember it but when my mom took me somewhere private…she told me my story. I was eight at the time. So I’ll tell it the way she told me.
“We need to talk.” I looked at her funny but understood. “I think you’re old enough to talk about your birth parents.” We sat in the living room. I’ve waited for a long time and didn’t know how to start this. The big question was why did she want to talk about this now? “I think you’ve gone through a lot and sometimes I hear you talk and wonder about them. You’ve might have been asked some personal questions from your friends.”
“Why did they leave me?” I wanted to start out simple.
“When you were little,” she took a deep breath, “of course there was this rule with only having one child in China because of the population.” I already knew that…I wasn’t really sure where she was going at but I knew that it wasn’t happy. “Parents have to leave their children and they usually leave them somewhere where people will find them and take them to an orphanage nearby…that’s what happened to you.” Tears started to form. I quickly grabbed a Kleenex on the table for her, grabbing one for myself in case.
“I know all about that and everything.” I snuggled up closer. My chest started to hurt. Her arm draped over my shoulders.
“Orphanages aren’t very clean in China and you were always sick, there were so many others, and you weren’t getting enough to eat.” She dabbed her eyes. I already knew that too, but…I ventured to ask the question I’ve wanted to know for the past eight years.
“Why don’t I have any toes on my right foot?” I looked into her eyes.
“China isn’t a very clean place and there were many rats. You were bit by a rat…on your foot and right hip.” Before, I sometimes looked at the scar and wonder how I got it. I just sat in silence imagining all of this…it was too scary. I understood now.
I was left alone on the sidewalk near a building. I wonder what the weather was like. She set me down gently wrapped in warm blankets. That was the end but yet it was just the beginning.
“So,” mom continued. “Your dad and I wanted to adopt a little girl from China since I knew I wasn’t going to have any more babies of my own. You were sixteen months old when we heard about you and knew you were the one. We flew right over and were overjoyed. They did tell us that you didn’t have any toes on your right foot, but they assured us that that wouldn’t stop you from doing what you wanted. I knew that was true.” She smiled and I dried a tear. “We were blessed to have a child like you.” Mom started to cry even more. “Your dad and I love you very much and so do your brothers. Sometimes I do think about your other parents and how they are feeling. How your mother felt when she left you on the sidewalk.” I felt the same way. I guess it was destiny that brought us together.
“Do you think she cried?” I choked.
“Yes,” she whispered, “I do. I bet she cried harder then you could ever imagine. It must have been the hardest thing she had to do in her entire life…to give up her child. I don’t think I could have had the guts and courage like her. Not knowing what would ever happen to my child. But I want you to know that she loved you more than anything…both of them. I bet they really miss you right now and forever.” We cried for what seemed like hours but only mere minutes.
Sometimes I wished things were different, but after awhile my dad came in and sat on the other side. I smiled through my wet eyes. “I want you to know that we both love you very much and would do anything.” I hugged them both. And then I didn’t want anything to change
“I already know that. You chose me and I’m happy.” I was happy…through all the fights, hard times, happy times, pains…they were there for me whenever I needed them. I dried my sore eyes…all red. “Do you think they’re happy that I’m in a better place?”
My mom looked into my dark, brown eyes. “Yes,” she held me close. “I bet they are even though they don’t know it.” She buried her face in my hair.
“Sometimes, when I look up into the sky at night…I imagine that they are looking up at exactly the same sky and moon.” A puzzled look came to my face. There was something that was still bugging me. “Do you think they’re still alive?” My mom was puzzled too. Dad decided to chime in.
“We don’t really know.”
“But,” my mom assured,” I guarantee they are looking at the same sky and miss you so much and love you. I’m lucky that I have a special daughter like you and I wouldn’t trade you for a different one.”
“Do you think I’ll ever find them?” There were sad faces on the surface. I knew they didn’t want to crush my dream, but I already knew the answer.
“No…I don’t think so.” I didn’t know what to feel. I wish I was with my birth parents right now and maybe someday I’ll find them to actually know who they are. Maybe I have a brother or sister waiting half way around the world, but for now I have a loving family here.
It felt kind of nice sitting with them there…each on either side of me. The sun was shinning and the birds singing their hearts out. Of sadness, happiness, or pain, we’ll never know. I was crying my pain away. I liked the quiet moment as we sat there sitting close. This was the most cherished moment in my life that no one can ever take away from me…not this time.
I was pretty special to have a family like this one. Sometimes I have wished I had a different one but then I realize I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I have two different families from two different worlds, but in the end…I have one big, loving family.
So as years go by, it’s sometimes hard to talk about my adoption to my friends, but sometimes I feel proud to be adopted and they don’t judge me. They don’t care where I come from or what happened to me as a baby…they like me for the way I am and they think it’s really cool about my story, it makes me happy they understand. It really is something amazing, that I am alive.
Those four words: ‘We need to talk’ meant something amazing, they’re here with me always. What would they mean to you?