Second Chance

From what I remember, my birth mother was great.

But she had a bad case of lupus, so the only time that I got to see her was at the USC hospital. The week before my twin sister and I's fifth birthday, she passed away.

I wasn't able to tell her how much I loved her.

In fact, we weren't even allowed to take pictures with her. To this day, we don't know where she's buried.

After she passed, my sister and I were moved to my uncle's house. Our pre-school teacher ended up calling the police on him.

I have nightmares and anxiety just thinking about it, and I've built walls just because of what he did to us.

My childhood was a rollercoaster. I had to grow up pretty fast.

My uncle abused and molested us. When they picked me up from pre-school, they didn't even know that I had a twin sister. No one around me knew what I was saying because I only spoke Spanish. I was confused and frightened. I was worried they would leave her behind.

They eventually picked her up, though, and from the time we were six years old to the time we officially got adopted, we moved around to different foster homes.

When we were eight years old, we were adopted. Everything changed from there, for the better.

Not to say that I didn't still have struggles - I did. I developed learning disabilities because of what happened with my uncle. People made fun of me because I found learning so difficult.

I enjoyed getting to know my new family members, though, and I'm glad that adoption gave me a second chance at life.

In 10 years, I hope to do the same. I want to give some child a second chance.

Adoption is a wonderful thing. You can change a child's life. It's important to share and be open about your struggles because it does help to heal the wounds you have from being an orphan. It's certainly changed my life for the better.