A Different Kind of Love This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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When you are five years old, your mother is your everything. She is your provider, friend, nurse, and listening ear; the only person whom you trust implicitly with your hopes, dreams, fears, and wishes. A mother is the person you run to when you fall and scrape your knee because you know she will be there with a hug to make it better. She reads you books and when she tucks you in, you know she will be there in the morning, no matter what. For me, however, this was not the case.

My mother suffered from depression and other health issues that would keep her in bed for days, leaving me to care for her and fend for myself. This situation reversed our roles as child and caretaker, which forced me to grow up much faster than the average child. Seeing her there, her hopeless eyes staring through me, terrified me more than I can describe.

While I knew my mother was sick, I felt deep down that we could get through it and everything would be okay. However, in 1997 everything went horribly wrong, and my life changed forever.

Adoption is a foreign word to a five-year-old, but when I realized that my own mother had signed me over to strangers, I felt it was the ultimate betrayal. I suffered from shock, anger, and confusion as I attempted to adjust to my new family. No longer could I trust anyone since the one person I had loved more than all else in the world had abandoned me.

I did learn to love my new parents and sister, though I could not forgive my birth mother for rejecting me. Hearing people tell me that she did it in my best interest – that she actually loved me – made me even more bitter. I insisted that if she had truly loved me she would have made it work for our little family.

Through the years I have resented her for this decision; I always wondered how she could abandon me like an old sofa at the dump. I tried to avoid telling people I was adopted because I was ashamed that my mother hadn't wanted me. However, the older I got, the more I began to understand how desperate our situation had been.

We had been surviving on boxes of noodles, and at one point we even lived in our car. I never went to the dentist, and was passed from drug-­addicted cousins to mentally unstable neighbors as my mother fought to try and save me from what our lives were becoming with each passing day. I have started to understand the reasons she put me up for adoption, and that in the long run she really did save me.

Only recently have I begun to understand how a mother could give her child to strangers, and I realize now the sacrifice it must have been for her to let me go. She was incredibly sick, but even in her state she understood that she was steadily pulling me down with her. She loved me more than anything, so she wanted me to have a chance in life, one she realized she could no longer offer me. When I look back now, I am grateful to her. Even though I resented her for a long time, I now know my life has been a special gift only because she was selfless enough to give me up.

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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IAmWhoIWantToBe said...
Apr. 18, 2012 at 3:16 am
Honestly, this almost put tears in my eyes. You're so lucky...
 
14jespax said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 9:27 am

I think this is a really well-written article. I understand, in a sense, what you're going through. My adopted siblings were suffering in the same way that you were, except their parents truly didn't care. They cared more about drugs and money than their own children. Although I wasn't adopted, my siblings and my family have dealt with struggles similar to yours.

I am so glad you shared your story. Stay strong and keep up the good work! :) 

 
Krissy S. said...
May 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

Omg im so sorry to hear about what you have been through is this true like did this really happen to you if so that is sad if not who did you hear it from or where did you get this from also if it is real how old were you when you had to fend for yourself and take care of your mom.

and do you and your mother have a good relation ship like do you still talk to her and see her

 
krsiak91 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 5, 2011 at 10:38 am
Hey, yeah this really did happen to me when I was 5 years old. And its okay, its rocky at times but I do talk to her once in awhile. I haven't seen her since I was adopted though.
 
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