I have told this story countless times. It seems that each time I tell it, it seems less real. I almost feel like this didn’t happen to me. All I’m doing is repeating some story that was told to me. Granted I do have a few scattered memories, but even when I relay those I don’t know if I’m remembering correctly.
So here is the story of how I got here. Here is the story of why I live in New Mexico.
I was born in 1994 in Fujian province, China. My exact birthdate is unknown and had to be estimated by testing the bones in my wrist. Supposedly and scientifically my birthdate is within two weeks of accuracy. So I celebrate my birthday on November 16th of every year. Knowing your exact birthday or time of birth isn’t really all that important in the scheme of things anyway. You can choose any day of the year and think wow Earth is the in the exact place in space it was a year ago. The same goes with a birthday. You can say I am exactly one year older than I was last year no matter what day of the year you choose. A birthday is less about a day and more about the celebration of your birth.
Continuing, I was born to parents who I never got to know because about a year and a half later I was abandoned at a market place. The reasons for this I am not entirely sure. I have this feeling though that they had another child, and since China has a one child policy they had to get rid of me. When I tell people I was abandoned they immediately seem sad for me, but honestly I was so young that I don’t remember much. And besides because of what my parents did I am in a much better place with many more opportunities.
After I was abandoned in the market place, a couple of farmers found me and took me to live with them. I lived with them for about six months. I honestly do not remember any of this. This is the story told to me by my (adoptive) mom. Then the police came and took me away from the farmers because I was not legally theirs. I then was taken to an orphanage. I lived with a caretaker for a year (maybe?).
Meanwhile my mother was busy praying for a little girl she would soon meet and going through the adoption process. In December of 1999 my mother flew from America to China to come pick up her daughter. When I first was introduced to her I was told to kiss her and give her a hug. I did so obligingly. Then this foreigner took me, and I was gone from all I had ever known. My stubbornness was clearly revealed as I tried to run and hide from her every chance I had. I have quite a few stories about the time with my new mother in China.
Then we flew to America to the Durango, CO airport on Christmas Eve. And as people say, the rest is history. I had just turned four and now found myself in an entirely new country with people who did not speak my language. Within six months I was speaking English and soon my Chinese language would basically disappear. I began attending a public elementary school in Bloomfield, NM. The rest of my story is pretty typically American. I’ve gone to several elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. I have stayed in the same area of the country for 14 years. My story isn’t all that unique. I know a couple people who were adopted at the same time and from the same orphanage I was from. They too live with American families and have become Americanized.
The important part of my history is what is going to happen next. It’s not just about where we come from but about where we go next. I suppose the interesting thing about my story is about where it has taken me. Life is an adventure I relish living. Where it takes me next, who knows? I’m excited nonetheless.