Michelle

"I was adopted from the Missionaries of Charity in Chennai. I was adopted into a beautiful family in 1999. I was brought home when I was three months old, but I first knew that I was adopted at the age of 7 when my mother sat me down one night after my bed-time story. My immediate question was "Where are my real parents?" My mom said she didn't really know. I went around telling everyone in school the next day only to be greeted with weird stares. I have been blessed to have been adopted into such a beautiful family, both immediate and extended. There's never been a time where I've never felt welcome or different.

 

My journey (after I knew I was adopted) was pretty smooth until I was a teenager. During adolescence, I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact I was adopted. There were times when I felt that anything, I had was my own and that I was living a borrowed life. But with the support of my family, I was able to embrace that struggle. Growing up, I never spoke much about my adoption as I felt that it was some sort of dark secret. I would break down every time I thought about it.

 

I was in 11th grade when our teacher discussed adoption in class, and while I was sharing my story, I broke down and yes, I was so embarrassed! But my classmates were very supportive and helped me through that day. Finally, in college, I broke out of my shell and with all the books I was reading and the exposure I was getting, I began having this dialogue with friends and family comfortably.

 

Astonishingly, I look exactly like my mother, so I got away with my adoption story for some time. People found it hard to believe that I was adopted.

Today, I am so glad that the world is trying to normalise the conversation of adoption between families and adoptees."

(Chennai, India)

Praneetha is currently pursuing her master’s and wishes to become a teacher one day. She also does some art in her free time. Follow her work on @art_murmur

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