Ayush with his sister, Angana
Sanjana, with her grandfather
"I have been fortunate enough to never have worried or cared about how I am alive but only to be grateful that I have a life. I was one month old when I was adopted by my parents and even saying those words seem surreal since I am a product of their love. I was adopted in Calcutta and lived 6 months in Delhi with my grandparents. Once I got my visa, I moved to Europe to be with my sister and parents. I have always been very open about being adopted as I have never felt any shame in it, the only shame I feel is the stigma of the people who don’t understand how great a process it is. I was brought up in London, going to the finest schools, playing sports and learning instruments. I am completing my undergraduate at New York University. I have been to 50 countries. What can I complain about?
Being inquisitive from a young age has been something that I am proud of but also left me vulnerable. My mother has told me stories of when I was growing up and when I was about 4 years old, I would ask where the woman who gave birth to me was. Obviously, it was a complicated question that my mother would try and answer, but I would cry thinking she is dead. She also has told me that when I was a teenager going through ‘the phase,’ I would say things like ‘you are not my parents…’ When I look back on it, I had to go through it to realize what really matters. These stories make me cringe a little bit because I know my parents and I love them and I’m honestly embarrassed that I put them through this. But to have openly had that realization, to have said such things were all about me opening up to reality and not holding anything inside of me.
I am fortunate enough to say I have parents who chose me. It was my destiny. I always thought when I would turn 18 years old, I would reach out to the agency and find out who gave birth to me. When I turned 20, I realized that I had forgotten to do so. So, out of curiosity, over need, I reached out and all I was told was that she was a petite girl of about 17. I don’t have bad feelings towards her, I am truly grateful that she made such a decision, so I can have the life I have today. I thank her for doing what she did.
The reason my attitude is the way it is today is that of my mother and father… and of course my sister (who started Udaan). They have loved me, protected me and pushed me to be who I am today. Adoption was my birth in this world and for me, there is nothing else to it. It has always been simple. When I see other families, those with or without adopted children I see such a disconnect. I don’t see the same abundance of love and care as I do in my family. I am so grateful and blessed to be where I am today and with who I am today."
(New York, NY, USA)
Ayush is currently a Senior at New York University (NYU). He's completing his undergraduate degree along with working on a personal venture in the Wine industry, called PairMe Wines.