Adoption is wonderful and life-saving, but scary and painful.
Here is my story:
I was born in Voronezh, Russia, to a woman whom I don't have much information on, but enough to partially understand. She was doing drugs while I was in the womb, and that caused complications during my birth (and well after).
When I was born, she gave me up immediately.
After that, she ran away and was nowhere to be found, so my paperwork was slim-to-nothing. But, what I do know is that she gave birth to five other kids. Three died due to complications, one is still living in who-knows-where, and the other is me.
As I said, I was born with complications. I was taken to a place for sick babies. Once I got better, I was then transferred to an orphanage in the woods right outside of Voronezh.
The orphanage's living conditions were terrible. The kids slept in cages at night, and there was little food. Like most orphanages, we shared clothes and did small chores. There was physical abuse and not enough love to pass around.
I was there for a little over three years before I got adopted. The orphanage tried to find my family members first, but none stepped up, so my adoptive parents got there wish. I was scared and confused as to why people whom I had never seen were taking me away from the only place I had ever known.
My parents told me that, every chance I had, I fought them so I could escape.
But, they eventually took me home on a plane and my new life started.
There were many challenges growing up. Therapy upon therapy. Language tutors - since I spoke Russian when I came. Constant fighting at home. My parents believed in physical punishment to "fix " the problem, but that led to more fights and terror around the house. How could I trust people that lashed out at me? As the years went on, things got much better. Our relationship is still struggling, but it's getting better.
There were also challenges with being adopted. Especially international adoption. It's not like I can search in the United States for my family; my family is overseas and there are other challenges that I still deal with - like not knowing who I really am and wondering why I was given up every other day.
Sharing my story is very important because I know what it's like to be stuck in the dark and have no one else around you that understands. I felt that way until I found the Russian Adoptees Worldwide group where we can share our experiences and connect. I'm hoping I can help at least one person out there, not just by sharing my story but by coming in contact with them and talking about our past and our present.