Personal Narrative: My Story Of My Adoption

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I have always been comfortable telling people I was born in Ethiopia, not the United States, and the fact that I am adopted. Depending on the level of intimacy, I might even confide that I lost both of my birth parents at a very young age. However, I have never have been able to talk about how much this affects me or how it makes me who I am, until very recently.
I have always been curious and have felt separated from my birth parents, as I think anyone in my situation would be. I wonder if I am at all like them, if I have the same gait as my father, or the same laugh as my mother. I wonder if my curiosity and willingness to try new things are traits passed down from my mother’s chromosome, or from my father’s. Sadly these questions have
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For three weeks, I was separated from my adoptive parents and was able to observe the person I became. I noticed that the part of me that my students and the other volunteers met, the one that they talked to and taught alongside, was one that was deeply influenced by my adoptive parents, while the stories I shared were stories of my birth parents. I talked endlessly with the other volunteers about my story, every detail. This was one of the first times that I was able to do so comfortably. I told them that I had always struggled to feel the presence of my birth parents and how much I missed them. This was true until the day I traveled back from Sefwi, one of the only Jewish settlements in Ghana, where another volunteer and I traveled to celebrate shabbat, a very spiritual experience. Although I am a practicing Quaker, I made this trip for him because he was not allowed to make the trip without a companion. At the time I thought I was just helping out a friend; I didn’t realize how much I would get out of it. On the fourteen hour trip back, I spent most of the time listening to music and gazing out the window. Looking into the clouds, I was able to have an existential moment. I had a sense that I wasn’t alone and that my birth parents were with me. It was the first time that I could feel my parents looking down on me, their lost boy, and that they had their hands on my
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