Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Little and Mighty Survivor

The following is a school assignment written by my dear daughter, Wisteria, who came into our family like a very adorable hurricane through the miracle of international adoption. The overall wait was about 6 years only partially owing to our hatred of paperwork. When we started we were told it would be 6 to 7 months.  However if that happened we wouldn't have met this particular, very dear person. I always wanted to adopt since I read about world overpopulation in the 1970s.  She was considered a special needs child owing to her "advanced" age.  Most people want babies.  At the time we adopted, kids up to the age of 15 were eligible to be adopted.

I believe life is possible to win even when you don't think everything is great and happy. Let me tell you it was not personally great for me back when I was living in ####. I didn't have a mom. She sadly passed away when I was 5 years old. On the other hand, my dad was too busy getting drunk, barely realizing he was hurting himself and hurting me. By the time I was 7 years old, I started running away from home. Walking down the street, I remember smelling all the foods I knew I couldn't have.

But I didn't give up thanks to all the abandoned dogs I found on the way. They made me feel like I had someone. That they understood what I was going through, especially the bulldog I found. It was a girl, she was black and white and followed me everywhere. I tried my best to feed her. I brought her home. My dad took her and from that day I never saw her again. That wasn't the hardest part. Especially hearing your dad or who you thought was your real dad saying, “You're not my real child. I found you in the garbage.”

Still at this point, I'm 14 years old and still wonder who is my dad or mom? Did I ever see them? Or did my dad just say that not knowing what he was saying from all the alcohol? I didn't give up. At that point I was just grateful I had a dad, even though he wasn't there for most of my life. I don't blame him. I always blamed myself. I remember asking myself, “What is wrong with me? Was I really that bad that I ended up in the garbage like a used or unwanted thing?”

By the time I was seven and a half years old, I couldn't deal with my life anymore, so I went to the police and asked them to take me somewhere else that was more happy. They told me there was a place that had many other kids just like me and it would be really fun. There wouldn't be anymore worries and you could go to school and I didn't know what that was because I had never been to school. So at that point, I was so determined to go. I told my dad and he told me, “If you go, I'll kill myself.” I still remember his exact words from that day. But by the time I heard that, it was too late. They took me away. I remember it was a very long drive to get there. When I arrived, I saw everyone was so happy and dancing and talking to each other. But all I did was cry and cry nonstop until they started hitting me. But I still cried as they hit me, because hitting was not new to me. My dad did the same. A few days later, I was settled down at this so-called perfect place called the orphanage. The orphanage, where parents would leave their children that they couldn't raise or have too many of, but that wasn't my situation. I chose to be there, thinking it would be better for me and my dad. Mostly my dad, he never seemed happy or noticed when I ran away or it seemed like it at the time.

My dad came to visit me, he brought some goods, but I didn't care about that. I was so happy to see him and not dead. I begged for him to take me back and we both cried. He said he wanted to but he couldn't because I made my choice. I couldn't change my mind. That was it. Other people could adopt me. He promised to come back and visit me or he'll try, but that never happened. I never heard from him since that day, so I began to run away form the orphanage, which was way harder than running away from home. There are cameras and people everywhere, but somehow I found a way to get out. Not the safest way, I had to climb up walls that were very tall and jump off to get on the other side of the orphanage. Once I got out, I kept running and running as far and fast as I could, to get far from it as possible. I didn't go back on my own at night, the police found me and brought me back. I got hit again and again to teach me a lesson. I didn't care. I kept doing this over and over again while I was at the orphanage and every time the police found me and set me back to the orphanage. Every time I got hit again and again. After a while I gave up. I knew they would just keep finding me, so I had to learn to deal with the orphanage.

So I dealt and when I was eight years old, a family with a disabled kid—I don't remember his name--adopted me thinking I could help their kid and watch him. But he always caused trouble but didn't get into trouble. I got in trouble for him. And it wasn't like the punishment was like no screen time for a week or a time out, you're grounded. Instead they took their boy to a neighbor, so they had time alone with me in the house. The boy's dad would whip me and kick me so hard, something I had never experienced until that day. I kept crying so hard and kept saying, “I didn't do it! I'm so sorry!” But he didn't care. I ended up with black bruises all over my body, except for my face. They told me to cover it, so I did. No one saw it. This happened a few times and they finally got tired of hitting me so they sent me back to the orphanage, saying I was misbehaving and that I didn't listen to anything. When they left, I said my side of the story. I showed my bruised body and the orphanage people were so shocked because of how bad it was. So they took care of my body and the people who hit me really bad. At that moment I never wanted to be adopted ever again/ I didn't want to go through all that pain again.

When I was nine, I heard someone wanted to adopt me from America. At the time, I didn't know where that was and what it was, but I didn't have a say in whether I wanted to be adopted or not. Later on that week, I got a box of the family who wanted me, which is currently my mom, dad, and my older brother. They sent me a picture album of the whole family and the different rooms in the house, including my bedroom, that I sleep in now. I am truly grateful, but at the same time, when this first happened, I was pissed and really scared. They spoke a different language that I couldn't understand. But for the first time, I had the chance to eat anything I wanted, which let me tell you was great. I was so happy, I went a little crazy. It was on the plane, even though I didn't know what it was or what was happening, I cried so much, everyone around was looking at my parents, like, “Can you tell her to shut up?” They looked sorry for my parents. My parents knew I wasn't happy to be leaving ##### and I was scared. When we arrived in America, I was so amazed because there was a lot of snow and this was the year 2011, one of the biggest snow storms. I just kept wanting to play in it because it never snowed in my part of #####, except for 2011 when I left. It seemed like a fairy tale that I had never seen or experienced.

One of the hardest part for me living in America was when I first came and still was learning English and dealing with people who are racist and people who made fun of my English or people not respectful of where I came from. Over the course of fourteen years of living, I learned you can't beat life, but you can always try to make the best of it. This summer, I'm hoping to clear up my bad history in ##### and make it more happy with my new, truly lovely family.


Jessica@CapeofDreams said...

What am amazing story. I'm so glad it has a happy ending. This just proves to me that Douglas and are making the right choice to foster and possibly adopt older children.. So many people have tried to talk us out of it by telling us the nightmare stories that happened to "a friend's brother 's cousin."

tess tea said...

A sister-in-law did that too beforehand, recounting dire stories of adoptions that didn't take.
Now she and my daughter are great pals. It did take time to adjust, learn to communicatem and calm down, but we had to do that with our newborn son as well. ;-)