Adopted at birth, I’m eternally grateful for the good fortune that united me and my family. In my twenty two years, I never felt out of place among my loved ones. Their warm personalities, loving hearts, and individual spirits were an absolute joy to grow up with.
To our parent’s relief and our delight, we weren’t the sort of siblings that were constantly at each other’s throat or denied the other’s existence. My sister, a loving sibling and wonderful friend, encouraged my independent and adventurous side, challenging me to do and be more than I thought I was capable of. She was always there to give advice, gently tease, and hang out with for a few hours in her cool, grown up room decorated with music posters and funky figurines. Even when I did the typical annoying little sibling things – ‘borrowing’ her clothes, playing a tug-o’-war for the remote, or tagging along with her and her friends – she never made me feel unwanted. I couldn’t imagine growing up without her.
Always ready with a smile that lit up his eyes, my father took to Monty Python’s advice and always looked on the bright side of life – a magnificent trait that continues to this day. Many of my cheery memories, filled with big laughs and matching smiles, are thanks to him. He’d walk around the apartment with me on his shoulders, my tiny hands gleefully touching the ceiling at this dizzying height. Some days he would surprise me at primary school, showing up to drop off my lunch bag. And he was always happy to share his hobbies with me, taking me out swimming or hiking. I wouldn’t have smiled quite so widely without him.
Fitted with an open mind and generous heart, I never doubted that I could count on my mother. Working a full time job, she never let that prevent her from attending every parent-teacher day, every talent show, and every extracurricular demonstration. Always able to read my moods, she listened without judgement and hugged with complete abandon. I can count on her for a chat; be it the light day-to-day catch up, or deeper conversations whose responses required serious thought and consideration. Giving me well wishes and believing in my dreams, I’d be lost without her.
The adage, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, is a tried and true one. Though I miss them dearly, the miles that separate us make the times that we do have together absolutely wonderful.