It's All For The Best

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story on one individual's experience with adoption and adapting to a new culture. The individual struggles with communication and being understood by his new family. This story takes you on the journey of young Charlie and his life within his new family.

Submitted: November 01, 2016

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Submitted: November 01, 2016

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The day I was adopted was like my worst nightmare and my biggest dream coming true. I was stripped from my mother, brothers, and sisters. At the time, I did not know why I was being taken away from my family. But looking back now, I realize it would be nearly impossible for a single mother to raise the nine of us. My father was never in the picture, and I never had the chance to meet him. I was adopted young, the day I was removed from my mother is hard to remember, but I think that may be a blessing in disguise. 

I was adopted by a family who is completely different than me. Our physical difference is the most obvious but even our interests differ. They eat vegetables at almost every meal while I prefer meat. The enjoy sitting inside with a book and some warm herbal tea while I prefer being outside with the fresh crisp breeze. Anyone who sees and knows our family can tell that I am adopted; it is obvious.  That’s okay, though, everyone always tells me how cute I am whenever they see me, sometimes even complete strangers. 

In my new family, I have a sister, Ella, and a brother named Ezra. Ella was actually the one who renamed me within the first couple of days at the new house. I don't remember my old name, but my new name is Charlie. It took me a while to get used to the name. There was a huge language barrier between us. I speak in my mother tongue, and they talk in their native language. I am still learning their language, but I only know a few words. Many think it is an issue that I don’t speak their language. But they are parents, so they know how to read someone’s needs. It is like figuring out what a baby wants, just like they had to do when Ella and Ezra were young. 

My family is great, but they can’t seem to understand me. I scratch my face out of sheer frustration. Sometimes they don't even let me speak, and they tell me to stop because I tend to be too loud. When they are gone for the day, and I am home alone, I will screech and yelp at the top of my lungs so that I can hear my own echo. I am blessed that they took me in as a part of their family. I mean, without them who knows where I would be. I could be living on the streets starving, or even dead.

In my culture, we love playing and going exploring to finding treasures. You would be amazed the fun we have with just a stick and a ball. With my new family, they don't always have time to play. I will bring a ball to dad and sometimes he won’t even acknowledge that I am there. I had to adjust this part of my culture to fit into my new families lifestyle.

Starting school was the best thing that happened to me, after being adopted. Finally, I was surrounded by a community that represented where I came from. They understood me and my passion to exercise and play. They were able to communicate with me, and I was able to comprehend everything they said. Going to school was like being back home. Everyone was so loving and playful, and the teachers let us be ourselves. The teachers tried to teach us more words in the language that most of our families used so that we could better understand them. Some of the words I knew,  like “ food,” and “water,”  mainly the essential two words in my opinion. 

School left me exhausted. I would typically nap until dinner, wake up to eat, then sleep for the night. Occasionally I would fall asleep on the comfy couch, but most of the time I would be drained and end up laying on the cushionless hardwood floor.

“Come on Charlie, lets go to bed now.” Mom would say in a soft, peaceful tone. 

I would slowly rise in a trance. My legs would be shaky from all the running my friends and I would do during free time at school. I would nuzzle up in bed and wake up excited for another day at school.

Unfortunately, school ended for me after a short time. I went from being happy and energetic to depressed and weary. I sulked around the house every day, feeling more alone than I ever did before. I slept for most of the day, waking only for food. My eyes began to droop, looking as if I hadn’t slept in days even though that was all I did. When I was awake, I hung my head low, trying to avoid all eye contact. My legs trembled with every step, seeming as if the sadness had traveled to my muscles. The life that I once adored was far gone.  

For a second time, this family took me away from my culture. I began dreading them coming home and became disinterested in their affection. I had always been thankful for being adopted, but at this point in my life, I felt like it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I was being deprived of expressing myself and isolated from a community who actually understood me. Ella and Ezra, Mom and Dad, they all have each other. They can speak to one another, and I am alone, feeling like I am in a jail cell. 

They began seeing the shift in my attitude and they seemed to be worried. Mom started taking me to all kinds of doctors thinking I was ill. However, I couldn't tell them that I wasn't sick and that I was just unhappy. They tried everything to make me return to my cheerful self. At one point I think they fed me only treats for a whole day, trying to bribe me into happiness. They even allowed me to sleep in the big bed, which they never even let me sit on before. 

One day everything clicked and their last attempt to make me joyous again was the one I was waiting for all along. It was during the winter. I remember because there was cold white stuff falling from the sky. My family was gone for the day, and I was left home alone yet again. I was doing my usual routine of shouting and waiting for my echo to ripple back to me. 

The door swung open, and Ella rushed in with a handful of colorful toys and fluffy blankets. Following her was a tiny yellow lab puppy and Ezra directing him along. He ran into the kitchen and slid on the hardwood floor like a new polar bear cub on the ice.

“Roof Roof, Roof!” He shouted.

As I heard his yell I thought to myself, “Ah, finally someone of my own kind, someone to finally talk to.” 

“Roof Roof! I yelled back, welcoming him into our home and my heart. 


© Copyright 2017 M.Hall. All rights reserved.

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