Families Are Not Always By Blood

Family: bound by love.


During my sophomore year of high school, I started to form my close group of friends. Eventually, when we got pretty close, I invited them to sleep over one weekend. When my friends came and we finally got to the basement, one of my friends asked, "Wait, are you adopted." When people see my parents and me together, they can clearly see that I am adopted. Since I didn't know anything different, I never felt that it was necessary for me to directly state it because this was normal for me. However, this is a big part of my identity, so here it goes!

I was born on August 29, 2000, and I was adopted on October 29, 2002. My older sister, Samantha, was also adopted when she was 2 years old, but she is 8 years older than me. My parents decided they wanted another child, so they went through the adoption process again. The big news finally came and they took a 13-hour flight to Beijing, China and then later that same day, had another flight to Nanning, China, where I was at. I was supposed to be adopted on October 28, but something got messed up, so I was adopted around three in the morning on October 29, which also turned out to be my mom's birthday. It's pretty unique because we get to celebrate two holidays in one.

As I have been getting older, I have always wondered why I was put into an orphanage. One that pops up in my head is the law where families had to pay extra taxes to the government if they have more than one child. But there are also the more known reasons which are that the family can't afford a child financially, or the mom just left the newborn somewhere. I think it would be a lot of fun to go back to China to explore. Since I was only two, I don't know anything about the country and I would love to learn more about where I came from.

Growing up, I had many traditions and experiences relating to my culture and the traditions my family has done. My parents adopted me along with six other families, so there are seven girls total in the group. We have made an effort to keep in touch. On October 29, we have an anniversary called Gotcha Day and Family Day. All of the families try to meet up around that time to update each other on our lives and to hang out. Our families call us the Wu sisters since we were adopted together and that was the last name we had in the orphanage. Nora is one who I am very close with. We act as if we are sisters and tell each other everything. Growing up, we have done ballet, tap, Chinese dance and Chinese language together for about ten years. Even if we didn't like doing some of those activities, it was still a lot of fun because we did it together. My experience is very different from many other people coming to the United States. My first language was English and was raised American. I didn't really have a culture shock since I grew up with many American traditions and experiences.

I'm very thankful for being adopted and growing up in the United States. With adoptions, the parents are given a child by the orphanage and obviously, there is no choosing. From time to time, I get the thoughts of wondering what would happen if I wasn't adopted by my current parents. My life would be drastically different if I was still in China today. I'm so fortunate for all of the opportunities I have had. I wouldn't have these great experiences, being able to meet amazing people, and having the chance to go to Butler.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Dad Who Works Out Of Town, Thank You For All You Do

Thank you for everything you do, I wouldn't have the things I do if it wasn't for you.


I want to say Thank you. Thank you for sleeping in hotel beds every night. Thank you for eating sandwiches some days for lunch while I ate my pizza Lunchables in my brand new Hello Kitty lunchbox.

Thank you for taking your truck with no cruise control some weeks for work because I wanted to drive your car. I'm sure driving for four hours straight with your foot on the pedal was pretty boring. Thank you for filling up the car before you let me drive it as well.

Thank you for waking up at 3 and 4 a.m. to head out of town to work and being so quiet while doing so. Thank you for adding lunch money to my account while you're over 100 miles away. Thank you for working sometimes 10-14 days straight without a day off. I can never thank you enough for what you do.

Thank you for filling my truck up in high school every Sunday night before you left for work. Thank you for spending your lunch breaks calling and making orthodontist appointments for me. Thank you for taking days off work to take me to some of these appointments. Thank you for always fitting me in.

While being out of town can make you feel like an absent parent, I promise you are not that. You always make sure to call me during the week. If I'm sick and didn't go to class, you call and check on me. You even call and remind me of things I need to get done like returning my rental book.

If it wasn't for you working out of town, I wouldn't have the luxuries I do now. I want you to know I am thankful for you.

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