My mom and I are as close as two peas in a pod. We both love action movies, spaghetti, and most of all, reading.
We look similar too. We have the same jet-black hair, the same slightly slanted eyes, the same heart-melting smile. Some people even ask if we’re sisters!
That’s why it may come as a surprise to you that I am adopted.
At a young age, I was ashamed of that. Ashamed of the fact that my birth mother didn’t want me.
I had never told my friends that I was adopted. They just assumed from our looks that my mom and I were actually related and that my dad just had a busy job.
My mom had no idea of course. She thought all my friends knew about my adoption. That’s why, one day, she blurted something out about “when I went to China to adopt Millie...” in front of Jackie when I had a playdate at her house.
I turned beet red and demanded to go home. My mom, bewildered, agreed reluctantly. When we got home, I stomped up to my room and brooded.
Then my mom called me downstairs. I went and found her on the couch, motioning for me to sit in her lap.
As she stroked my hair, she asked me, “Were you too ashamed to tell your friends you were adopted?”
That’s when I lost it. The tears just flowed down like a salty river.
My mom told me, “Well, honey, I see nothing wrong with being proud of who you are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re adopted or not, whether your skin is light or dark, or whether you’re rich or poor.”
“But Mom!” I choked out, “Jackie will tell everyone!”
“That doesn’t matter,” my mom said firmly, “Tomorrow you go tell them that you’re adopted and proud, okay?”
Between sniffles, I responded, “Okay.”
The next morning I went to school and lo and behold! there was Jackie, whispering with the other girls and sneaking glances my way.
I followed my mom’s advice and marched up to them. I told them that I had no father. That I was adopted, and I didn’t care what they thought.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the girls that I stood up to that day (not Jackie) are now my closest friends. Other than my mom, of course.