I am 13 today. People here say that once we step into our teen years, the chances of being adopted are rare. We, the children of foster care only crave for a ‘home’; that we can call ‘ours’, ‘Parents’; who are willing to accept and love us. Is it too much to ask for, ‘a Home’?
A couple visited our orphanage today. I paid a glance at them in despair. They were revealing wealthy and seemed to have no kid before. “Maybe Children less!!” I thought. I have seen hundreds of such families visiting in previous years and my past experiences were telling me that they too aspire for a young baby to take their home. I was least expecting them to pay a visit to the other side of the foster home, where grown-up children like me reside. Usually, visitors don’t walk down our lane, and even if they do it’s only because they wish to watch how kids in foster care live. I assumed them to be another visitors, came down just to fill their eyes with the sight of accommodations we get here. I didn’t even pay a look at them, out of the Punctured Hope which I lost with the arrival of this day.
I had cursed my born day, always, until today.
Today, this generous couple, Instead of ending up to a younger kid, filled ‘me’ in. Yes, they chose me to take their home!
We, children of orphanage have never had a close idea of how a Uniform life acts. Life here is too messy that we almost dream of things which might be just a living entity for others. However, there’s one more aspect of which we’re always deprived; the freedom to make choices. Children born without any home, have no other choice but to end up here. When the most crucial decision is already taken by our fate, then how could in the world we might be given the right to make choices for life? “Destiny rules us”, I don’t know if it is universal, or again just our part to bear.
So, when this lady and gentleman decided to took me with them, I was given no choice but to give in, again. Each of my friends here, with whom I’ve shared all the sorrows and glee, who were the only family known to me over these years, were bidding me farewell.
While leaving, I had no idea if this was the day I was desperate for, since years? For some strange unknown reason, I wasn’t excited for being the lucky lad today. I couldn’t decide how to act, Satisfied? Happy? I couldn’t manage to show any emotion, but to stay quiet.
One possible reason could be my fear to face this world anew. I didn’t have the slightest of the idea of how this new life is going to be.
We reached ‘their’ home. It was a wide, spacious bungalow, might be at one of the most royal location of the city, and a hundred times huge than our entire orphanage. My first instinct was right. They are wealthy!
We entered, and I found about a dozen of people shouting “Welcome Home” the very moment I took my first step inside. I looked at them in confusion and then everybody became silent. Pin drop silence followed it. I felt a choke in my throat. Nobody was saying a thing, and I was being watched (rather ‘stared’) by these unknown faces for an unknown reason after a sudden enthusiastic welcoming.
‘They’ hold my hand; the lady, left one, and the gentleman grabbed the right one and asked me to step further. They were being kind to me in this new place. As the distance between ‘us’ and ‘the guests’ shortened, the gentleman announced; “Friends, meet our son, ‘Harvey’!”. Out of some sudden emotional outbreak, I kept staring at him for a while. I was never acknowledged as a ‘son’ before, and this certainly wasn’t easy for me.
The lost energy was again refilled by this announcement and I felt relieved. Everybody began greeting them and rounds of introductions kept heading one after another with their family and friends gathered for this special evening of my homecoming. It took me a while to realize that it was all previously planned and not some random decision of them like our usual daily visitors to bring me home.
I was Starving, of two major reasons; first, I was terribly failing to understand what was happening, and what business they want with me. Floods of questions were hijacking my entire head. And Second, I hadn’t eaten anything all day out of the adoption formalities, also I was too busy bidding goodbyes to almost every person at the foster home. I was already missing my friends at the orphanage.
My confused gestures at this new place were narrating all my dilemmas. They finally broke the silence after a while with the fact, I was dying to have.
The lady took a seat and a hold of my hand, gently caressing my palms and muttered; “We lost our 12-year-old son, last year in a crash.”
“He was our only child.” “We are sorry, we should have made you feel more comfortable by telling you the whole truth before, but we were scared of your rejection.”
“Last year the same day it was his birthday too. We were out to celebrate the day while the inevitable occurred.”
“Ever since we have lived apart from happiness.”
“We adopted you because you resemble our son. Just like him, it’s your birthday today and you turned 13.”
After a short pause, she spoke again “By having you as our son, we want to make up to our lost contentment.”
“Even if we’ve lost our own blood, but we promise to make sure that you’re no less than him to us.”
“Harvey, we want you to be a part of our small family and complete this blank space caused to us by our cruel destiny. So, tell us, son, would you spare us a chance to be your parents?” I saw the pain in her eyes. She was holding back her tears, ‘her tears of separation’ captive in there in a hope to be accepted, just like mine, the hope I almost gave in, the same day!
I had a quick look at the gentleman’s face. It felt like he too wanted to express thousands of emotions, but he managed to stay quiet, just fine.
I had heard that mother’s love is eternal and it never fails to impact any soul. A drop of tear dripped out of the corner of her left eye. Even tears were backstabbing her, just like her destiny did. Today, I got the answers to all my questions. ‘Destiny’ is cruel to everyone!
I knew no move to control what was happening, while I strangely picked a sober napkin from the table next to me and offered her;
“Don’t cry, Mom!”
Ironically, she cried even more after that. And everybody around us cried too along with her, and I smiled, “So, this is it!” “Family”
While she whipped her tears with the napkin, I found it resembling my own life; just like this Napkin, my life was “bare – empty” and “white – undecorated”, but now a teardrop has changed it all. The destiny of that “bare Napkin” and “mine” too.
And that’s how ‘they’ became my ‘home’.
Picture Credits: Pinterest
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