The Day My Life Changed – Adoption


Jasmine Varelas, Co Editor of Entertainment and A&E

My whole life changed the summer of 2010. When I was about 2 weeks shy of turning ten, I gained and lost a family. I had worn a black dress like I was attending a funeral. I had lost someone, I lost my whole biological family. I painted on a smile that morning, I told everyone that I was happy that I was getting adopted; I told my foster parents, now adoptive, that I loved them. I told them this lie for years. I’ve even said this lie to myself. I thought that I had to love them because they let me – a total stranger – into their life. So up until a couple of days ago, I was told and believed that I was ungrateful and I should owe these people everything. I thought that I should love them and when I didn’t, I would hate myself.

While my biological brother was thriving in this house, I was failing. I would always be grounded and arguing with my parents. We had never gotten along, we would try again and again to have a good relationship, but it would always crash and burn. I would always tell myself to stop being so much of a burden to these people – they didn’t have to adopt me, they didn’t have to love me. After years of living with them, I discovered that I am living in a cycle. We would pretend to like and get along with each other until I mess up and get in trouble. After getting in trouble, we would start to fight all the time then I would start to hate my parents right after, thinking this for a couple days, I would start to hate myself. I would hate myself for hating them and making their lives so much worse. Then there is the stage where we start to work things out so we can go back to “getting along”. I have been living this cycle for years now. You’re probably wondering what part of the cycle I’m in right now. Well I’m at the part where we’re always arguing, but this time I will refuse to hate myself for how I feel.

I learned that I do not owe these people anything but respect. I learned that many other people that have gotten adopted feel the same way as me, we are experiencing adoption trauma. We the adoptees are mourning, while the people adopting are celebrating. We lost valued relationships, while they gained one. Now I can say to myself and others that I had wanted to get adopted not for myself but for my brother. I wanted to stay with my brother and he loved this family so I put that black dress, painted on a smile and went through with the adoption.