Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Story of My Adoption
I was born in Africa on February 8, 2005. When people tell me they know of Liberia, the country where I was born, I get quite excited. There are fifty-three countries in Africa, I only know of one!
For the first nine months of my life I lived in an old zinc house in an area highly populated with drug and crime activities. The police are afraid to go into this area, since it is run by criminals.
The sanitary conditions were very poor. My house was infested with flies and mosquitoes. Perhaps this is way I have a melt down if either a fly or a mosquito comes flying by me. Don't let me get started on my phobia about dogs....
The neighborhood was deplorable, dirty and crowded. The beach was, and probably still is, being used for latrine purposes. There is no educational, social nor adequate facility for little tykes like me.
I arrived at the West African Children Support Network (WACSN) at nine months old. At the orphanage I ate the same thing everyday: oatmeal for breakfast, rice for lunch and bread with tea for dinner. It was a lot more than I was used to but still my body craved for more. This is why I ate non-stop for a whole year when I arrived, gaining a whopping 20lbs in less than a year! You will notice that this is why I eat with such precision, quite unlike my little brother. He spills everything!
I slept on a single bed size mattress on the floor, sometimes sharing it with other boys if the orphanage got crowded. I spent my day singing, and memorizing my ABC's. There were no toys. It took me no time at all to learn about super heroes, trucks, and cars. Disney, and the other toy makers have the power of marketing down pat, no matter how hard my parents have tried to shield me from these consumerism gurus.
The nannies where loving and caring. Though I do have to stay that since living in Canada I am sure smitten by blonds. I love to touch their hair. You can just ask a couple of girl blond buddies!
When I met my dad for the first time, I just clung to him. I didn't want to see or hear anything else but him. I was afraid, sick and hungry. Having him hold me made me feel safe and happy. Slowly I looked at my mom and my little brother. It took me awhile to start talking. I was often found humming and singing songs. Especially the song, "Hosanna".
After two weeks I started talking a lot and my parents say I haven't stopped since. I love entertaining. I can sing you 3 of Kid Rocks' songs, word for word and I have also incorporated some of my own dance moves. The words in his song Amen, "can you imagine what's it's like to starve to death...." reminds me of the stats in Liberia: nearly half the children die before they are five years old.
If you ask me, "James, where is the sun going?" as the sun sets I will tell you it's going to Liberia.
If you ask me what I did in Africa I tell you, "I was a little baby and hungry and I cried." And then I'll pretend to cry like a baby. As funny as I think I am, my parents often tell me, "James, calm down. Use your soft voice."
I know that my daddy and mommy waited and wondered, but they tell me, never did they imagine I would be so cute and they would love me so much, even when I can't sit still to take a picture!
Note: Any words that are highlighted are links to past posts.