Life. Tonight it feels as though every single good and bad memory is being replayed in my mind. I see many people, many faces, many moments- which either have brought great joy or the darkest of sadness.
Ten years ago, I was brought to California. A place where every twelve year old girl who lived in an orphanage dreamed of being. A place where we all sat and thought of as the "savior" of all, land of complete and utter happiness. What else do you picture a twelve year old girl to want, need, desire and long for? When all she was facing was a drunken mom, a distant father, two baby girl sisters who were taken away from her and an alcoholic grandma. When all she heard were empty promises of a family, when all she wanted was the closeness of a mothers arms she got to see her back as she walked away on a daily basis, when all you wanted was to be spoiled by your grandma and all you saw was a bottle in her hands instead of you. Countless men- coming in and out of my mothers lives, promising her the happy ending that only ended with her crying in a corner in result of some sort of abuse. California was the answer.
Little did I know. Little did I know that it is not the geographical place that will make my hopeless life better, but the quality of people that God graciously blessed me with. Little did I know that I would have a father, who was always, without a doubt consistent with what he said. Who kept his word like a promise. Who guarded my heart with loyalty, love and care. Little did I know that I would have a mother whose back I never saw because she never walked away. Who held me. Who loved me when I was the most difficult. Little did I know that God would give me a chance to have a sister. Who was my personal therapist in time of need. Who put up with my temperamental personality. Little did I know that I would have solid grandparents, who wanted nothing else but for their kids and grand-kids to be happy, truly happy. Not with what money can buy, not with anything else but living a life of compassion, generosity with their time, energy, and wisdom. Little did I know I would have cousins, with all different kinds of personalities who contribute to making this world a better place. Who selflessly love.
The list of "little did I know's" can go on and on. But as I sit here and write, the little memories run through my head; like the sound of my dads motorcycle when he'd come home, or when he'd walk in my room at 4 o'clock in the morning just to give me a kiss before work, or my mom scratching my back before my best doggy friend died. The memory of my dads face when he was so excited to give me my guitar- most precious possession, or the look on my moms face when we'd talk about Jesus until 2 o'clock in the morning. Memories seem a bit distant but clear as day.
As I reminisce on my life as an adoptee, a daughter for the first time- I'm thankful. Thankful for the lonely nights, thankful for the broken promises, thankful for the unheard cries. All that makes for where I've ended up.
Life hasn't been all sunshine and butterflies, not everyday brings an abundance of thrill, people disappoint, people hurt; families crumble and they build their selves back up. It's life. We live it, we learn from it, and we chose which paths to take. I chose a mom and a dad and they chose me and that's forever.