Last night I had the opportunity to speak at our county commissioners' meeting, as they were discussing the current county adoption benefit and county wide assistance benefit. After being asked, I agreed to do so. Despite my dislike for public speaking, I felt I could not be silent on anything that could help children in foster care or internationally be adopted. I wanted to speak out and be a voice for the voiceless. As I was working on what I planned to say, Cava asked me what I was doing. When I told him, he asked, "Can I write something?"
We spent around thirty minutes writing what he had to say. It was entitled "What It Means To Be Adopted." When we had finished, I asked him, "Can I read what you wrote at the county commissioners' meeting?"
"Sure," he smiled his wonderful Cava smile. Now the one thing that concerned me most was that everytime I practiced reading aloud what he had written, I got choked up. It was hard reading his words and not be moved. I prayed constantly that God would give me the strength to be able to present what Cava had written clearly, without fear, and without breaking down. Through Him alone, I did. The power of Cava's words were heard.
Here is what Cava wrote:
When I got adopted, my world got bigger.
Before, in Ukraine, it was just the orphanage. Nothing else. When I was there, I was angry and sad and felt all alone. Nobody told me, "I love you" or that I was "smart" or "good." If I was scared, nobody told me it was okay. Nobody hugged me. Nobody cared. I only thought my life was going to be hard. I never dreamed about being anything. I only dreamed of getting out.
Then a family came to meet me. They looked so happy. I wanted to be happy like them. I wanted to be in their family. And they wanted me to be in their family, too. I have never been so happy as when Mommy came to get me and we left the orphanage for good. I got to come to America. I never thought this could happen. I never dreamed I could be so lucky.
When I got adopted, everything changed for me.
Now I have a family that takes care of me, loves me, and tells me I'm smart and special. If I'm scared, they tell me it's okay and they comfort me. They hug me and kiss me when no one had ever done that before. This makes me feel happy and loved.
Now there are so many other places that I know about and want to go to. I got to go to Disney World. I want to visit New York City, London, and Switzerland.
I have more choices about what I can do. When I grow up, I hope to study and take care of birds because I love birds and hope to work at the Carolina Raptor Center.
Life is better for me now because I have a family and I have friends. I never had those before. I never had dreams.
I love my school, my principal, and my teacher. I love to learn. I love to read. I even have my own books that are just mine and my own room and things that other kids can't take away from me. I never had anything that was just mine before.
Now I work hard and never give up because I want my dreams to come true. That would not have happened if I had not been adopted.