Seeker of the Extraordinary
Today is my Special Day.
It’s the first one without the people who gave me a reason to have this day. I’m not sure how special it’s really going to be.
When I was a kid, it was like having another birthday. I honestly don’t remember if we had cake and presents, but it was a well-honored day in my house because it was the day I became my parents daughter. It was the day they became parents for the first time and I was saved from a life in a country that didn’t value women. I don’t know what kind of life I would’ve had if I’d have stayed but as an orphan, I can’t imagine it would’ve been worthwhile.
So I owe them everything.
Tomorrow will be the first day I don’t have one of them to thank. My dad died in 2014 and my mom, in March.
They adopted me when I was two, picking me out from pictures and choosing me from all the others.
I’ve struggled for more than a decade to understand who and why my birth parents would abandon me. I was a toddler and unable to care for myself but somehow I survived. There are far more questions than answers, and the people who have the answers left me on the side of the road.
As I grew up, I never thought much about that early struggle to survive. Strangely, I didn’t consider it at all.
Then I had children and it changed me.
It made me realize that as a mother, there are things I would never do. Abandoning my children was one of them.
Because of that, I began to write.
I’d always been a writer, but when my youngest was two, I was facing personal trauma that was too much to bear. As I looked at him in the crib, I realized that he was the same age I was when I wandered the streets hungry and alone. Something inside of me changed forever so I turned to the one thing that had always given me solace and I wrote a book.
As Eva’s story poured out of me, so did the pain. My story became Eva’s story, and I realized that there had always been a part of me missing. I’d always felt it but never knew what it was.
Her abandonment story wasn’t quite my own, her story riddled with poor choices and addiction while mine remains a mystery.
Her broken leg was my broken arm and her shattered heart was a reflection of my own, calling out for a mother who no longer wanted her. Left in fear as darkness.
Writing brought healing and so did the laughter of my boys and their tiny voices and endless hugs. With them, I had purpose and I understood why I had survived when nobody cared if I would.
So on my first Special Day without the parents who raised me, I’ll think of them with nothing but gratefulness in my heart. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have this life, or my children, or the freedom to love and create.
I am so thankful for all of this and this makes every day special, for me.