Time to Leave the Past Behind
By Vanessa, age 17, South Carolina
Whole family sitting down in the kitchen. Girls speaking with one another and laughing at jokes that are not even funny. I was one of them. We were a big family - seven girls and one man in the house. It was not my real family, but for me it was. Each girl who lived in the house had a different background and went through different stuff, and some times were worse than others. We had our fights, arguing over stupid stuff, but we were the best example of how a family should be, but it couldn't last long because I would soon be making decisions for myself and for my siblings' future.
Daniela made a surprise visit. We were happy to see her. She married a week ago, and all the girls were talking about her wedding and how beautiful she was. Lost in time, I was looking at her ring, so big and shiny and perfect. I was thinking about my wedding and my future husband. That was our Brazilian girl's dream. I was happy because I knew that in three years I could get married with Eduardo, my first love, his green eyes looking at mine and saying I do. But Daniela extinguished my thoughts by asking to talk to Aunt Maria and me alone. I was scared and asked myself, what did I do this time? I couldn't look at Aunt Maria's eyes. I was ashamed of something, but I didn't know what I did. And Aunt Maria was looking at me with her brown eyes, her hands crossed like she was mad.
We sat down on the sofa in the living room. I was nervous - I thought I would pass out. I was really scared. My heart started beating faster and faster each second. I couldn't think about anything. I knew I didn't do anything wrong for so long - I stopped skipping school, smoking, and being with my bad friends. I was being good, but I was still afraid of what Daniela had to say to me and Aunt Maria.
Finally she spoke. "I'm so proud of you, and happy for the decisions that you're making and your progress at school." I felt so good when she said that, but she looked at me and said, "but that's not what I came here to talk about - it's something better. We found a family for your siblings."
I felt the tears going down on my face and my heart was about to jump out of my chest. I was so happy; I can't describe how I felt at that moment. I was in Aunt Maria's arms when Daniela gave me a letter from the parents that would adopt my siblings. Reading the letter, I knew I would have parents too. At that moment, I went to my room and sat down on my bed. I couldn't talk. I was crying and I didn't know if I was crying for joy or sadness. How will my future be now? I asked myself. I was afraid, afraid of new parents, afraid of new habits, a new language, and a new life. In only a week I would be leaving everything from my past behind. I remember every person that I loved coming to say goodbye. I remember saying goodbye to my first love - at that time I thought that we would get married. It was a tough decision for me because I had to leave everything and everybody I loved in Brazil. Leaving everything I love behind was sad, but was worth it for my future.
I finally met my new parents and I was happy to meet them. Watching my little sister in my new dad's arms. Me and Valeria talking with my mother, and my brothers taking pictures with my dad's camera. We were happy because we had a mother and father for the first time. I never thought that I would be so happy to have parents. I never thought that I was going to have people caring about me like my adoptive parents do. I never thought that I was going to have parents who love me and have patience with me like my new parents do. Today, three years later, I'm sitting here in front of the computer describing the greatest feeling that I never ever felt, the feeling of being love and cared for by the lovely parents I have today.