There may not be very many stories of failures that succeeded in life, but nothing compares to the story of one of my childhood friends. When I was growing up I knew a kid named Steven. Steven was adopted, and had so many hardships and obstacles pulling down early in his life. For most people, they wouldn’t succeed in his circumstances. His parents were drug addicts in prison, his sister had died from a car crash, and Steven was left to die in the streets. Steven had all the odds stacked up against him. When your in that type of situation life becomes a roller coaster of emotions. A small percentage of people could ever get out of those life circumstances.
When I think about the hardships people have to go through to adopt a new child, it saddens me. It isn’t easy having children, there are many duties and responsibilities associated with being a parent. When you take ownership of a child, your life must be in place before you can help another child grow. It is disheartening to hear of stories of people who adopted children, when they never were in a position to do so, and the kid’s life ends up becoming a mess. When children are young, having a safe environment is whats most crucial. A child should never have to worry about where his next meal will come from or being killed for some random reason.
One of my favorite movies growing up in middle school was Like Mike, a movie about a young orphan who dreamed of becoming a great basketball player at an orphanage with a bunch of other aspiring basketball kids. Someday he ends up finding some magic basketball shoes that give him supreme athletic abilities on the basketball court like no other person. In the movie the main character, Calvin, is played by lil bow wow, the special eleven year old orphan. Whenever Calvin wore the special shoes to play basketball he turned into someone else. Eventually the NBA saw his skills, and teams wanted him. Not much time passed until he was able to make it on a professional team and play consistently.
Being an orphan was a blessing in the sky for him in the story. The movie of course was a huge exaggeration that would never be real, but it certainly was entertaining. Towards the end of the movie when all the kids are getting adopted parents, Calvin gets adopted by one of his teammates from the movie. The movie showed an amazing story and journey of orphans to finding loving, adopting parents.
Many of the kids I know that were adopted, were adopted when they were young of age like two or three. In the movie many of the kids were adopted later on in their teens or pre teens, which in my opinion is worse than getting adopted when you’re a baby or young child. In most cases kids can’t help being born into terrible living situations, it’s never a good idea to judge other people because you never know where they’ve been. Some kids will live there whole lives not knowing they were adopted until they’re older or even adults. What most adopted kids want and need is affection from parents. Many of the adopted kids turn down wrong paths because they are never given the proper attention and care. When adopted kids that need love and attention don’t receive what they need, they start to resort to other activities. In society it sad to see such good kids turn dark when the wrong distractions get in there way.
I have a younger cousin who was adopted in the family at the age of 12. It was very hard for her to adjust to the family, because not only was she born and raised in another country but English was not her first language. It is hard for kids to adapt and change their language. To learn English it takes years of speaking, watching, and listening to other people talk. When you come from Laos where there is little to no English spoken it makes life a lot harder. My family is Mexican, so when a girl from Laos is in the family it can cause a lot of unwanted confusion. Whenever we would go in public or to events people would stare. Strangers didn’t have to say anything, because staring alone said it all. When we were middle school, kids would pick on her because of her accent and speech impediment. When you’re growing up in your teens, kids can be brutal and have no filter. I was honestly always so impressed at the level of self control and respect she had despite getting bullied a lot.
When high school came around, Kari never took a step back to kids. If anyone insulted or tried to pick on her, she had the confidence to stand anyone up. It didn’t matter if you were the biggest, meanest person Kari always had the ability to defend herself as should got older. When you’re in highschool you’re still an immature adult, but despite the setbacks Kari had at a young age she still was able to remain strong. Sports was Kari’s thing all throughout high school. She eventually became one of the best basketball players in the delta league during her senior year. Graduating from high school in California would define who Kari was. Never again will Laney high school see a better story and basketball player than Kari.
After high school Kari was recruited by some of the biggest basketball schools on the west coast. UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona were just a couple of the many schools seeking Kari’s talents. She later chose to attend and play at Stanford. The level of excellence in education and basketball program were enough to influence her to commit. When Kari put her feet on Stanford’s campus I’ll never forget her reaction. Kari was completely in awe of how beautiful yet comfortable the campus felt. Pursuing a degree in biology worked out well in the end. After playing four years of basketball at Stanford, she eventually went on to become a heart surgeon. Not only did her basketball career at Stanford help, but her classroom work paid off in the end. Not too long ago do I remember first meeting this shy, timid girl from Laos that we brought in the family. Now that girl is one of the most successful heart surgeons on the west coast, and I’m proud to call her my cousin.