I was adopted into the huge family of Larry and Jackie Bebo when I was 7-8 years old. I don’t know if I knew that adoption meant that I was now their kid and there would be no going back. My birth parents gave me the impression that I was only going to be in America for a little bit and then I would come back for them. So imagine my disappointment when I had to start calling “them” mom and dad. I think that was the most difficult part of being an older adopted kid. I already had a family, a mom and dad, but suddenly I was supposed to embrace these new people? This seemed silly to me.
Many times I would yell at my mom that I wanted to go back to Haiti and God bless my mom, she was so patient in explaining that this was my home now. I remember one time though after yelling and crying about the same thing, she finally yelled back, “Fine, go home!” She demanded to know what was so great about Haiti anyway. Did I miss all the violence? I was so angry at her and that day harsh words were said and I decided that’s it, I hated her and I would go home whatever it took.
After sitting in my room pouting for a couple of hours, my mom came and sat with me. At this point we were both exhausted and I was pretty much cried out. She then asked me to tell her about Haiti, what I missed about it, and she just sat there for hours listening to me. There came a point in my story when I felt like I couldn’t share with her so she gave me my first journal and told me to write it out. I spent all night writing everything that I could remember- the good, the bad and the ugly. In the morning, I handed it to her which was symbolic of me handing her my trust.
My mom read my journal and she did the greatest thing any mom can ever do for a child. She cried with me. That day was probably the day my walls came down and “Jackie” became mom. We became thicker than thieves. Of course there were many conversations to be had, bridges to build, and I finally knew that I didn’t want to leave, couldn’t imagine leaving.
Adoption gave me parents that love me, many brothers and sisters who encourage and support me, and a future I could never have. If I were still in Haiti, the life I would be living would be completely different. I undoubtedly would have children and being a mom would be the only option before me. At eighteen, the world is my playground and I look forward to going to school, getting a degree, and exploring new things. People who adopt don’t know the power they yield. You are giving a child a complete new world and experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have. Because of adoption, I am free to dream and free to be whoever I want to be.