A Happy Day Turned Bad

It was a beautiful day.  The sun cast it’s radiant rays upon a little small village in China.  Little dust of ivory clouds navigated itself around the sky.  On that day a naive girl of four years-old sat in her concise house of only one room., no bigger than a mini garage.  An average size twin bed faced the wall, a bed that three people shared every night.  A cheap old fashioned stove adjacent to the bed, and a cabinet where three utensils, three plates, and three pairs of clothes lay.  I sat on the cold stone floor wearing my pink little summer dress while playing with my rusty train set.  All days were the same for me.  My parents both worked from when the sun rose to when the sun set, only coming home to make dinner.  Life for me was quite lonely.  I ran free through the village like a wild child, for no one cared.  I became independent the day I could walk.

As I sat there, playing, the door suddenly banged open. My mom stood there anxiously with fear in her chocolaty eyes.   I knew something tragic had occurred for she never came home early.  She grabbed my forearms and pulled me up with a jolt and snatched a plastic bag from the corner and stuffed what little clothes and toys I had in it.  My own brown eyes were filled with tears, but I didn’t let them fall.  She dragged me along as she moved and on her way out, she shut the door with a thunderous bang.  Who would have thought that that was the last day I would ever see that little one room garage house again.

As we moved along the unfamiliar dusty streets, I was quiet as a four year-old could be.  Unasked questions swirled in my head.  What’s happening?  What was happening?  Where am I going?  Why is my mom so upset?  Where is my dad?

We got on a crowded blue bus.  There was the terrible smell of cigarette, body odor, and car gas.  I clung to my mother’s pant leg for I didn’t want to be separated from her.  I buried my face into her pant leg, not wanting to draw attentions to myself.  My mom never looked at me through this whole trip.  The bus flew through towns and towns, making the outside world a blur.  Eventually we sat down. I curled myself around her, sucking my thumb.  I must have fallen asleep for the next thing I was a town not quite so dusty and poor looking.

We got off the bus and got on a motorcycle.  I hung on for dear life as we zoomed across town to town.  We got off and got on a taxi. Our last transportation vehicle before my mom reached her destination.  I had never been out of my village before.  This was my first time. Finally we ended up at a park.  She picked me up and carried me to a wooden bench.  The trees swayed back and forth as if the wind might knock its life out of them.  Casting black silhouettes that clung to the enormous buildings.

“Stay here and wait for me.  I will be right back. I’m only going to go see a friend,” said my mom in Chinese, and with that, she left after dropping the bag of my things on the ground next to me.  Not a goodbye.  Not a hug.  Never even a last glimpse at the little girl she gave birth to four years ago.  I watched her go.  When she disappeared, I sat on the bench with my little head bent down, counting the tiles,


I watched the people pass me by. Hoping soon, one of the faces would be my mom.  I waited, and waited, but she never came back. My hands started to sweat.  I felt shivers running down my spine.  I wanted to get up and go look for her, but I didn’t because I thought she would be back.  She was just late.  If I left, she would never be able to find me in this vast place.  I knew she was going to come back for me. Right?

Finally, it was night.  I wasn’t so sure anymore.  I got scared.  I cried silent tears. I was alone in this vast world.  Without a mother, or a father.  Just alone.

A stranger walking by with her family saw me and persuaded me to go back home with her. I did and while I was there, she called the police and the police came and brought me to the police station.  For three days the police searched for my mom but they never found her for they did not know my name.  I must have been a nameless child for I didn’t even know my name.  I didn’t talk for two weeks. Four days later, the police bought me to an orphanage in Guangzhou, China.  By then, I believed my biological family had abandoned me.  I was an orphan now.  The orphanage gave all they had for me to feel the gift of a family, but I didn’t in the first couple of years.  I remained timid and to myself for a month but eventually, I warmed up to them.  They searched for a family they knew could offer me something more that they couldn’t, but no family wanted me.

Four years later, they had found an American family that wanted me.  This family gave me a name; Alana.  Maybe I don’t know why my biological family gave me away, but I do know that some where in their heart, they wonder the same thing. I realized by then that even though I had lost my first family, another family was waiting. Everything occurred for a reason.

Where I’m From
I am from a new beginning,
From dictatorial China and free America,
I am from fragile cherry blossoms,
Rosy pink petals gliding on the breeze,
I am from the swing in the backyard,
Surrounded by luxurious grass,
Grown green with joyful times.

I am from Chinese noodles and Cinderella’s castle,
From complete terror of the dark
to the soft sweet sound of my mother’s voice.
I’m from storytellers
Bursting with magical and terrifying tales
Of enchantment,
Fairies, and ghostly monsters.

I’m from saying tearful goodbyes at the orphanage
To saying hello to a new family.
I’m from Alma and Pierre,
From knitting colorful sweaters
To saving lives.
I’m from ” Christmas Vacation” and 12 birthday parties,
From frigid snowball fights and the piano notes of Fur Elise.
I’m from dusty streets with thunderous noise where
My mother left me to be reborn,
And from Santa’s North Pole,
Over which i had to cross
To get the gift of a new family.

In my mother’s office
Is a folder which holds
The first pages of the book of my life.
In my dreams, memories waltz back to me.
Yesterday intertwines with today,
Making my two family trees