This is a story of family love—a particular love which I hold close to heart. It has shaped me into the man I am today and is the reason why I call America my new home. This family love is the ultimate sacrifice of a mother for her son.
I was adopted from the small city of Draganesti-Olt, Romania, a city suffering from decades of governmental oppression that starves the region of basic human needs. Despite such conditions, I was fortunate enough to reside in a family that could just make ends meet. My biological mother, Anna, was an infinitely caring and loving individual. However, like most Romanian families, she could not continue to provide me with the necessary food and personal items. Limited employment, minimal income, unsafe living conditions and an absent father-figure ultimately forced her to put me up for adoption when I was only 8 months old. Before meeting my new family, I resided in a shabby orphanage that could barely support its own walls, not to mention the numerous sick children. I was critically malnourished and constantly sick with various illnesses, many of which were discovered in the United States.
Besides my birth mother, the only records of my biological family, which remain uncertain, are that I have several brothers and sisters. My father left our family during this challenging time, and I have heard no news of his whereabouts. These experiences have affected my life in various ways. I constantly find myself questioning God about my unique experience. Why was I adopted? Why did I have to experience such transformation? However, in time, I believe these obstacles were specifically intended for me. I am supposed to confidently share my adoption story with those who face similar hardships and yearn for answers from fear of the unknown.
My Romanian name is Marian Botoarga. I am currently 19 years old and enjoying life with my adopted, loving family. Reflecting back on it now, adoption is bittersweet. I have a powerful story to share with others. Unfortunately, this experience forced my mother to make the hardest sacrifice of losing one of her own children. Nevertheless, her selfless decision was an act of genuine love. She found a family that would love me as strongly as she does. I am here today because of my mother’s unconditional love. I pray for her each day as the gift of family love is one of the greatest blessings from God. So, the next time you see a family member, remind them how much you love them and share a hug. It's the least they deserve.