“Meronica! I am tired of watching that show. You should get ready so that we could go buy your dress and new shoes,” mom said. “Just ten more minutes?” I said.
Mom was excited about celebrating my birthday in a few weeks.
“I’ve got to go to work,” she shouted over her shoulder as she headed out of the door towards the car.
I quickly pulled my shoes on and scurried to the car.
After browsing through a number of stores, I found what I was looking for, a violet strapless dress with rhinestones stitched along a sweetheart neckline and silver pumps. It was the perfect outfit for my sweet sixteen birthday party.
Once I got home, I ran up the stairs, burst open the door of my mother’s closet, eager to put my special outfit away, when I saw an old and dusty looking box. Curious, I picked it up for a closer look, it was all dusty with a few spider webs here and there. I opened it. There was not much inside but a few sheets of aged papers.
I was about to close the box when something with my name caught my attention. It was a document with the word ADOPTION in big bold letters. I picked it up, then it hit me, these were my adoption papers and certificate. As I read them, a million thoughts raced through my mind and wondered why my family hid this from me. In a moment, I decided not to mention this to my mom. I wanted to give her a chance to tell me. I felt hurt that my family was not my real family and that my real parents had abandoned me. Why would my biological parents abandon me? I guess I will never know if I have siblings.
The next day, I left for school, giving mom a half-hearted smile. It was a tough day as it was difficult to interact with my friends.
“Why are you so down?” Mimi Jade asked. “It’s not like you to be quiet.”
“Just tired,” I lied giving her a weak smile. It was hard to smile knowing that I’ve been lied to.
Weeks later, my teacher, Mr. Brown asked me to stay back after school.
“What did I do wrong?” I wondered.
Mr. Brown had noticed the change in my behaviour and suspected something was wrong. I felt sad, depressed and alone. “Are you okay, Meronica?” Mr. Brown asked.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I said, but I could see that he wasn’t convinced.
“A few weeks ago I found out I was adopted,” I blurted. “My parents didn’t tell me. I accidentally found the papers hidden in a box in my mother’s closet. I don’t think she’s going to tell me.”
He nodded with a hint of sadness in his eyes.
“When do you plan on telling them that you know?” he asked. “You should let them know. I am also willing to speak with them on your behalf, if you’d like.”
I didn’t want him to, but I knew that I had a lot to think about.
“Oh, I heard there is a Spelling Bee contest. You should sign up. It might take your mind off of things.”
“I’ll think about it,” I said and left the classroom.
Once I got home, I wasn’t sure if I should tell my parents or wait until my birthday. At that moment, I realized that I had forgotten to put the box back. It was sitting on my dresser next to a photo of when I was three. Quickly, I grabbed the box and bolted down the hall and into mom’s room.
It was dinnertime. The air was tense and everyone seemed uncomfortable.
“Meronica, I know you found the box. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I was going to tell you after your birthday. I didn’t want to ruin your special day,” mom said with teary eyes. I didn’t want to talk about it and mom didn’t look comfortable either.
“I heard there’s a Spelling Bee contest at your school.” Dad sat awkwardly playing with his fork. “Are you going to enter?” Ignoring mom, I said, “Yeah, Mr. Brown said I should. I guess I’ll enter.”
“Great.” he replied a little too excited.
I had two days to prepare for the Spelling Bee contest. Mom helped but it was easier to ask dad.
On the day of the contest, the entire gymnasium was filled.
“I can’t do this. What if I mess up and everyone laughs?” I whispered.
“Hey, you’ll do fine,” mom said with a smile. “You won’t mess up. We are proud of you no matter what the outcome. Just do your best.”
I gave them both a hug and went up on the stage. It was then that I realized, even though I was not their daughter by birth, I was still very much a part of this family and it made me happy.
Before I knew it, I was receiving my prize for winning the Spelling Bee competition.
Not only did the contest distract me from the reality of being an adopted child, but it pulled my family closer together. Now I do not mind being adopted. Although, I am curious about finding my biological parents and siblings, if any.