I was found abandoned at birth on the streets of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India, severely malnourished, miasmic, and suffering from dysentery.
I wish my birth family could have kept me longer, so that I could at least have a memory of them.
The hospital was my “home,” until I was placed in an orphanage, Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra.
Based on what I was told, multiple inquiries were made by the local police in an attempt to find my legal guardians.
However, no one came forward.
After so much time in the foster care system, I was declared available for adoption.
At 11 months old, a family from the United States adopted me.
My adoptive family was very religious, but that didn’t bother me. They also valued diversity. In fact, diversity is something we’ve celebrated often. We had our fair share of trials and tribulations growing up, but what family doesn’t?
If there was one thing that I could be thankful for, it was their openness regarding my adoption. I was grateful to be adopted, but I still felt sad when I thought of my biological family. I still have many unanswered questions such as, “What would my life be, if my birth mother had kept me?”
Adoption has given me opportunities that I would not have had if I stayed in India. I will never know what my life would have been if I stayed. Who knows? Maybe it would've been the same. Not worse - just different.
I have faced many challenges since being adopted: Connecting and bonding with people, fear of rejection or abandonment. For me, it is a daily battle to open myself up and allow people in.
It has taken me a long time to be able to share my story.
I am proud to be an American.
I am proud to be Indian, something I always will be.
Someday, I will go back to India, and maybe it will feel like home again.
But, no matter where I am a citizen of, I will never truly fit in.
In India, although they may look like me, it is obvious that I don't act like an Indian. I lack the culture I was born into. And in America, I look different from everyone else, but I’m an American at heart.
There is a part of me that’s missing anywhere I go.
Currently, I wish to attend school for nursing, but am held back due to my desire to go back to India, and see the country and culture I was born into.
We are not alone.
It's perfectly acceptable to love the life you were given through adoption, while still grieving the one that was taken away.
This realization has given me the courage to share my story in order to encourage other adoptees to share theirs.