July 4, 2012

My Adoption Story

Posted in Adoption tagged , , , , at 2:03 pm by Lund

*A first-hand account of adoption. Names have been changed.

Photo by Cat Cutillo

The event that changed my life was my adoption. Adoption has shaped me into the person I am today. As a child I had a pretty rough beginning, but little did I know my life was only going to get better.  I didn’t know what was coming for me, and when it did, it changed me forever.

From what I can remember I went into foster care at the age of five years old. As such a young child I didn’t know why I was taken away from my mom and dad. I was always told that my mom and dad were having problems and that I needed to go and stay with another family. Little did I know that my mom was having serious problems. Now I was always on the move. I would go back home then I would have to leave again, then I would get taken away again. Being only five years old, all of this it was very hard for me to adjust to, the constant moving and all the emotional problems it caused. I was confused all the time. I was scared because I would be home for a week or so and all of a sudden the state would be knocking on the door with the police on their heels. Every time that happened I got really scared. Come to find out the reason that they came was because of excessive partying and drug use. The state would then take me and put in yet another home. Sometimes I would be gone months at a time.

It took its toll on me. I was in and out of different schools. I would make friends then have to leave them. One time they came and got me from school when I was in class participating in a group project with my best friend Donald. I knew it wasn’t a good sign that they showed up at my school to get me. I was crushed because I knew that it meant that I was moving again.

I finally got used to the changes in my life and got used to all of the moving. I had to make changes to comfort myself. I would make up these big scenarios in my head that would resemble the life I wanted and I knew that there was a chance that things weren’t going to get any better. So I reconstructed my view on my life and how I would cope with the constant change. During the seven years of moving around from home to home, I reshaped myself so that I could deal with all the changes better. As I got older it got easier. I knew what to expect every time I was told I had to move. Every time I heard those the words I would go and wonder what I did wrong to deserve to be moved around so much.

However, one day my luck changed. My social worker and my permanency planner came to see me. This time I knew the news would be different. I could see it in their faces. I wasn’t sure what to expect. They told me that I was going to be adopted by a family that lived in Mississippi and that they were right here in Vermont for me to meet. I had so many emotions. The emotions I felt were all jumbled up into a big ball inside of me. I felt anxious, scared, excited and even a little sad. After they told me this I was so ecstatic to meet them and scared at the same time. At the time I was living with a family that was supposed to adopt me. I really liked this family and really liked this family that came to Vermont to visit me who was soon to be my forever family. The day my social worker took me to meet this family was a new beginning for me. I met them at a pizza restaurant for lunch. As I was sitting there with these strangers I felt as if somebody really wanted me as their child. On that visit we played in the arcade and had a great time. As time passed I began to feel as if I belonged with this family. Soon the time came and they had to go home and I was left to decide whether I wanted this or not. At the time I wasn’t sure because I loved the family I was with. The family I lived with seemed to be the ideal family for me. I had two big brothers that I looked up to, they were really cool they did all kinds of things with me like play video games. At the same time I liked this new family that visited me.

A couple of months passed during this time. I would talk to this family on the phone. I knew there was a chance that it might not work out in the end, then in October I went to Mississippi for a visit. I stayed there for a couple of days and went to a soccer game with them. I still had trouble with my emotions and was feeling like I didn’t know what I wanted. We had fun playing video games, and hung around the house. When the time came for me to go back to Vermont, I became very sad. My adopted mom was crying because her little boy was leaving. I wanted to move to Mississippi, but it was a waiting game for me and the family. When it was time for me to move to my new family I became very ill and the paper wasn’t ready.

Finally in December I got to go home. I was twelve years old. I had trouble leaving the family I currently lived with because I had grown attached to them, but I made it through. My new mom and dad helped me with the changes that came with starting a new life. There happened to be several things I had to adjust to. One was the fact that I will never have to worry about the state or the police telling me that I would have to move again and live with this family and that family. I was relieved that I was finally safe in a place that I belonged and with a family that loved and cared for me. I didn’t realize how good life was going to be with a new family and a new home.

As I got older I finally could grasp the fact that I was going to be safe and loved. I didn’t ever want to go back to the old life I once knew. I now have a chance at life I didn’t have before. Opportunities were laid before me. I am able to go to college and have friends. I am thankful for my social worker because she saved me a lot of pain and situations that could’ve been the end of me. My adoption has open a hundred doors for me that wouldn’t have been optional for me. I am extremely grateful and thankful that they adopted me. I now know where I belong and I can live my life the right way without the fear of being put in a hundred homes. I am proud of the person I have become and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.  My parents have played a major role in changing who I am now. I wouldn’t be the guy I am now, I am where I am supposed to be now.

The adoption of my siblings has played a major role in my life. I have been able to be comforted by them as well as comfort them in return. I see now that even though adoption is scary, it is a very positive thing. I wish more people would adopt children like my sisters and me. I hope that every child in foster care gets that family that turns their whole life around. Maybe someday since my adoption played a major role in my life I will be able share my experiences and help other children in guidance and who are in need of home.

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