Dear Adoption, We Are Just Little
Interview with an 11 year old adoptee
Are you comfortable sharing your story? Only share what you want to share.
I like talking and sharing because people are always wondering anyway. Well, I’m 11. When I was 5 my mom took me to an orphanage and I stayed there. There was not anyone in Ethiopia who could take care of me and I would get sick a lot. I got adopted when I was almost 7. My second mom and dad came to meet me and said they would take care of me. I liked them right away. They were nice and they felt safe. I did not want to leave the orphanage and I kinda did too. I was sad and scared but everyone said it was a good idea and it would be better for me. My second mom and dad said it was my choice. I cried a lot because I was just little and I did not understand that I had to make this choice. I decided to go to America. I like my house and my family is so much love and we are safe. People always ask about my family because we don’t look the same and it makes me feel embarrassed and I am worried it makes my mom and dad feel embarrassed too. I have so many friends who are adopted too and two are from Ethiopia. I wonder if they are my sisters! I like to be with other kids who are adopted even though we never talk about it. It is nice because they know what it is like to be adopted. We do not talk about adoption but I know they are sad too and I know they are happy too. Strangers ask about us too much and we wish they can understand that we are just little. My mom and dad let me be sad and they do not make me talk to strangers about adoption but it still makes me sad about it. I try to not think about my two homes and my two families and my two hearts. I think I should just think of one and that is the new one. I cry on my moms lap sometimes at night and I feel bad because I am not thinking of her and I am thinking of my first mom. It is hard because I do not know where she is and I feel sad that I miss someone I do not know anymore but I remember her and she was a nice mom. Oh and I remember she was pretty but I don’t know if I look like her.
What do you want people to know about what its like to be adopted?
It is nice to have a good family and I think all kids should get to have a good family. But it is also sad and scary. I mean, it isn’t scary anymore but I was scared at first and so many people wanted to see me and talk to me and touch my face. Isn’t that weird? My mom says it is because they are nosey and rude. I am happy to be adopted but I am sad about being adopted too because I miss my mom and my friends. I don’t like when people tell me I could have died or that I should be happy to be in America. I think that being adopted is really hard.
Do you want to go back to Ethiopia someday?
I think so but I’m a little bit nervous and embarrassed.
Why are you embarrassed?
Because I have a nice life and I have stuff they don’t have. My friends who aren’t adopted yet are probably still hungry and I feel sad for them. We go to restaurants a lot in America. I wouldn’t tell them that. Maybe they won’t like me anymore.
Do you want your friends from the orphanage to be adopted too?
I don’t know. I mean, that’s a hard question! I want my friends to not be hungry but I’m kinda jealous they are still in Ethiopia and maybe their moms will look for them and find them? My mom can’t find me I think. I’m too far away and I feel bad about being far away. I mean if they want to be adopted then that could be good but it will be really sad too. But I think I can help them about being sad.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
I like to sing. I like drawing and I’m really good at drawing the flag from Ethiopia. I love my family. I feel sad sometimes but I also feel happy a lot!