More than Blood: An Editorial on Family and Adoption

I always heard stories of America being a place where people were happy and loved life. These stories became my stories. I remember the first time my mom told me she loved me. I remember when my sister, Kaitlyn, called me her brother and welcomed me and my sister, Hannah, into the family. I remember getting to pick my name.
At the age of 9, I began living with yet another foster family. The social workers separated me from my brother and sister, but they kept us in the same town and we went to the same school. After having already lived 4 years in the same foster family, I assumed I would stay with them until I was old enough to be on my own.

In the summer of 2012, I came to the United States to spend a month with a host family in Virginia. That month became the best time of my life as I spent time with some amazing people. Towards the end of the month, my sister and I met a family from Pennsylvania. We swam in their pool and spent the day getting to know their daughter, Kaitlyn. They treated us with kindness and love.

After spending a month in the States, we had to head back to Latvia. A month after arriving back in Latvia, a social worker asked me about the family from Pennsylvania I had met. She asked me an odd question: “Would you like to live with this family.” Confusion struck me. I had no idea that this family had interest in me and my younger sister. Before I could even think, I said “yes.” I barely knew these people, but I knew that it felt amazing to have someone care about me and want me. Two weeks later, I met the family in Riga, the capital of Latvia, and spent three weeks living with them and I loved getting to know them. I still thought that it was all strange and happening very fast, but I loved it. At the end of those three weeks, we came to the United States and began our life as a new family.

While in Latvia, my mom came over to me as I prepared to go to bed after spending the day in the city. We talked for a little bit and at the end of the conversation she said to me: “Good night, son. I love you.” I responded by saying, “I love you too, mom.” That night, I realized that I wanted this family to be my family. I truly felt the love that I had always craved.

Towards the beginning of my time with my family, my parents asked my sister and about what we wanted our names to be. I said that I wanted something short, and my dad said that he liked the name Luke. At first I thought my name was spelled “Look” because of the way it sounded.

I got the rare chance to start over. I was blessed with the chance to recreate who I wanted to be. I got this chance because of adoption. My parents gave me the gift of family. They gave me a home, and a place to be loved and a family to love. Family is more than about having the same blood run through your veins. Family is about love, togetherness, and second chances.

The opinions of the stated author does not constitute an official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District or of the LS News editorial board.

--By Luke Tordoff, LS News reporter

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