The First Day
It’s the first day of first grade. My excitement almost unbearable, I begin the tedious march from my mom’s car to the mystical classroom.
As I strut down the center hallway, eyes darting at every possible object filling the over-colored room, I begin to scan the room for potential friends. After sitting down behind our designated name tags, I familiarize myself with my neighbors: to my right is Jack, to my left Isabella.
Two weeks into first grade and Jack, Isabella and I are playing in the sandbox during recess. Jack and Isabella are getting married, which makes me very jealous since I have a massive crush on him. Jack says he doesn’t like the way I look, that I have a weird face and resemble something of an alien.
A month has passed since that day of excitement and wonder, except that spirit has since been replaced. Jack’s comment still lurks in the back of my mind as I come to school, sit in class, play at recess, eat my lunch, ride back home, and go to sleep. I had not noticed this before, but I bear no resemblance to the rest of my classmates.
Two lonely months completed of my formal education. Today, however, is different. Today, our parents get to join us in class so they can see what we’ve been doing to pass the time. As I walk into my second home, hand-in-hand with my parents, the other children and parents begin to stare, a confused concern replacing their eyes. I wonder what made them so worried. More importantly, why do all my peers look like their parents, but I do not?
That is the precise question I present my parents with on the drive home. An awkward silence fills the car and I feel like it could choke me. Finally, my dad speaks. He tells me that I am adopted from China, that they did not give birth to me. That is why I do not look like them or my classmates, who were born of some European descent.
Three painful months have passed since I began this journey. I am tired of people laughing at me, giggling that I am adopted, saying that my real parents don’t love me. Jack and Isabella stopped playing with me, and nobody will sit with me at lunch. They seem to think that I am contagious.
Four months since my life changed forever. There is a new kid today, his name is Dylan. He seems nice enough, but will probably fall into the other kid’s ways.
Five months and first grade is much better. Dylan has a cousin who is adopted, and would not tolerate my classmates bullying me for it. He was my friend when nobody else was. He got everyone to be nice to me, and to abandon their foolish belief that they could catch “adoption”. I wish there were more Dylan’s in this world.
Six months completed, only three to go. I’m excited for what the rest of this year holds. We will see where this goes.