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Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Influence

As part of my research for a book I am co-authoring about my experiences raising a daughter adopted from Russia, I have been going through letters and essays my daughter has written. I ran across one that was particularly touching.  She wrote this essay last year as part of her work at Sylvan Learning Center. Titled "Good Influence," the essay read:


This essay is about my mom, and what a great influence she is on me and my family.

My mom adopted me when I was 11 years old from Russia. Ever since I’ve been part of her family, I have learned great things from her. My mom is a big animal lover, which made me want to be around animals. Like this year I’m helping out at Watermelon Ranch Rescue where I spend time with animals. She also enjoys writing and so do I.

Other than being a great mom, she supports me and what is best for us. At one point last year I was doing really bad in everything and my mom thought that it was best for me to be away from home. We had troubles last year but this year we’re back together as a family.

Being away from home has taught both me and my mom to understand, listen and communicate clearly with each other. My mom has been really into photography all her life, which made me want to try it. Now we take pictures together. It’s one of the funnest things I like to do with my mom. I feel very lucky to have her as my mom.

In a blog post a year ago, I wrote about what makes someone a 'real' mom. It isn't genetics or the act of giving birth to a child that makes a 'real' mom. My daughter's birth mother isn't her real mom; I am. It's nice to know that she appreciates all I have done for her. Despite a terrible childhood and a rocky time for a couple of years after I adopted her, she is a great almost-18-year-old, and a kind and compassionate young lady. I am lucky to have her as my daughter.