Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Life Experience Growing Up Essay

It is hard to explain to most people the reason why even though I was born in the United States of America and had a complete set of parents at the time of my birth, I was still sent to Haiti to be raised by a surrogate family. Not everyone understands the crazy things that parents do when their marriage is failing and the family is falling apart, as my parents chose to do. I do not remember much about my childhood in the USA because I left when I was seven years old. All that I could remember about that time was that my mother came home one day really sad and she asked my two sisters and I to pack up our things because we were going on an airplane ride. When I asked her where we were headed, thinking that we were probably going to Disneyland or something, she told me that we were going to take a vacation at her sister’s house in Haiti. This did not strike me as strange at the time because I had never met my mother’s sister at that point in time so I was excited to meet her. Mom told us that we had cousins in Haiti and we would get to meet them for the very first time during this trip. When I asked my mom if Dad would be joining us on this trip, she said that he was too busy at work to come along but that he loved us and wished us a safe trip. So it happened that I left my country of birth in 1973 to embark on a life that was thrust upon me without a choice nor a reason why I had to live it. Our mother spent a whole month with us in Haiti. I have some vague recollection of my mother sitting at the dining table at night with her sister, crying and in need of consolation. At the end of the month, I remember seeing my mother packing her suitcase. I thought it was time to go home and that she had simply forgotten to tell my sisters and I to pack up our things. So I began doing so without being instructed to. When mom saw what I was doing, she asked me to stop and come out to the backyard to have a talk. We sat on the swing in the small backyard of my aunt’s house as my mother explained what our new family situation was. She asked me if I remembered how she and dad had been fighting a lot lately and sometimes he would not come home for days because of the arguments. I recall that at the time I had vague recollections of my parents voices breaking through the bedroom walls at night when they thought we were already asleep. Slowly, mom explained to me that the marriage was in trouble and that the family was falling apart. She assured me that they both still loved us more than life itself but that they felt it would be best if we stayed n Haiti while they finalized the divorce and they both tried to get back on their feet after. It hurt me a lot to be indirectly told that my sisters and I had no place in our parents lives anymore. I felt abandoned and betrayed by both my parents. I was angry that even though I was just a little girl, I would have to find a way to explain what was going on to my sisters and make sure that they would be able to adjust to a life without our real mom and dad. We were all born in New York City and were accustomed to its lifestyle and culture. O when we were forcibly left in Haiti by our mom, we had to overcome the culture shock and social difficulty of having to live in a different environment from what we were used to. My sisters and I also had to lowly began to adjust to life with our surrogate parents. That is, our aunt and her husband. We had surrogate siblings as well because they eventually had their own children. We were a large, convoluted, extended family. As time passed, we became less American and more Haitian. French became our mother tongue and English was a stranger to us. We were happy and well adjusted kids who saw no difference in the way we were treated by our guardians who loved and treated us as if we were their own flesh and blood. Our parents? We spoke to them separately over the phone 4 times a month. We were strangers who did not really know anything about each other and did not have much to talk about over the phone. Those times were more like mandatory duties that our aunt and uncle made sure we accomplished without fail.

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