Lost and Found: An Adopted Real Story
Grace Meijuan Wang, 3rd Place
From a distance, my best friend Katy and I look like sisters. We both are Asian with black hair and black eyes. Katy was born in the same area in China where one of my great-grandmothers had lived. However, if you pay a little more attention, you can find many differences among us. The biggest one is our last names. I have a popular Chinese last name, Wang, but Katy’s has a European last name from her adopted family.
When Katy was eleven months old, her parents adopted her from an orphanage in Jiangxi Province, China and took her here to the Bay Area. Katy has mixed feelings about her birth mother. On one hand, she is thankful because her birth mother brought her to the world and gave her new chances in life. On the other hand, she dislikes her birth mother greatly because her mother abandoned her.
I told Katy that her mother might have accidentally lost her. My theory was that one day her birth mother, a nice young lady, had taken newborn Katy to a busy store to buy a new baby dress. The young lady had set the cradle down at the end of an aisle. After finding the perfect baby dress, she returned to pick up the cradle. Unfortunately, the cradle disappeared. She searched everywhere but did not find a trace of her daughter. Katy shook her head to my story and explained that she was found in a basket in front of the orphanage. She knows nothing about her birth mother. She is truly lost from her birth family.
Katy is happy with her family that adopted her. She gets all the love and attention that I get at my house. However, she also carries complications from her new family. Once her class was studying World War II, a Jewish boy suddenly started glaring at her with hatred. Puzzled, she asked him why he was doing this. Still keeping the icy glare, the boy informed her that it is because her father is German. During recess, I found Katy sitting behind a tree looking depressed. I had asked, “What’s the matter?” She described what happened in class and continued to sit there like a stone. I started comforting her by telling her that she is adopted. What the Germans did in World War II is completely unrelated to her. Immediately, Katy cut me off. She then said, “Even if I told the boy what you told me, nothing would help.” She feels that her adopted father and her share the same family history.
Katy and I are in the same grade at the same school, we both play the same instrument in the same after-school band, and we have the same group of friends. Unlike me, who always stay with my mom and dad, Katy had lost her parents eleven years ago. However, she found loving parents here in the United States. When I sit in the classroom with her or play with her under the same tree, I do not feel any difference between her family and my family, neither do my friends.
(Note: Everything above is true except my best friend’s name.)