‘She finally gave in. With a tear running down her face, she looked at me scared and afraid, ‘You’re adopted.’

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“Every summer I worked for my mom at her residential lighting business, and this year was no different. But what I learned that summer changed my life forever. It was just like any other morning at work. I walked into the office; the phones were ringing, the smell of fresh brewed coffee was in the air, and Good Morning America was on the television. As I sat down at my desk, I heard the hostess of GMA say, ‘Today we are talking to mothers and asking them how long they stayed at home with their children before they went back to work.’

I looked over at my mom, ‘How long did you stay with me until you went back to work?’ Looking nervous, she hesitated,’ two months.’ I replied, ‘two months?’ Flustered, she said, ‘Well…six…seven weeks.’

At this point I was getting frustrated because I knew something wasn’t right and she wasn’t telling the truth. But why would my mom lie to me, about this? ‘Which one was it?’ I asked expecting the truth this time. ‘I will tell you when we get home tonight with your dad present,’ was her response. That was not going to work for me, so I continued to pester her until she finally gave in.

With a tear running down her face, she looked at me as if she was scared and afraid, ‘You’re adopted.’

My heart started beating fast, thump, thump, thump, and felt as if it was going to explode out of my chest. Then is slowed down, thump……thump………thump. Is this real? Am I dreaming? My eyes slowly started to swell up. I began to feel tears building up like water over a dam, getting ready to breach and spill over uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop crying. All these thoughts and questions rushed into my head. Has my whole life been a lie? Who am I? Who are my biological parents? What else have my ‘parents’ lied to me about? My brothers I grew up with aren’t even my brothers!

My emotions were a mixture of angry because I had been lied to my entire life, sad because I had felt alone for the first time and confused because I didn’t truly know who I was. This was a lot of information to process for anyone, let alone an immature eighteen-teen year-old boy. I was so upset with her, but that emotion was short lived.

I had a choice to make, stay angry with my mom, or be…happy? What a strange way to feel at this moment. Suddenly, it dawned on me. This is the best thing that could have happened. The more I started thinking about it, the more I realized it was a blessing. What would my life have been like otherwise? Where would I have been raised? What would have happened if I was raised by my biological mother? Had I been raised somewhere else and by anyone else, I knew I would not have been the person I am today. My parents instilled great values in me, like nobody else could. They provided me a great life, gave me everything I needed, and more. For that, I was thankful.

What seemed like an eternity, only lasted a few seconds. My tears of sorrow slowly turned into tears of joy. I looked over at my mom with fear still in her eyes, the fear of my potential rejection. I slowly walked over and hugged her, with an appreciation like I never had before.

We both gathered our emotions and sat across from one another at her desk. I had so many questions. She answered every single one of them. There was an entire new life yet to be discovered.

Later that evening when I saw my dad, he wrapped his arms around me, and it felt as if he was never going to let me go. It was one of the best feelings in the world. Over dinner, I talked with my two brothers and the most amazing parents a child could ever ask for. I don’t remember what we ate, but I do remember feeling loved and protected. I was at home with my family, right where I was meant to be.

I can only imagine what that day was like for my mom. She had probably been dreading this her entire life. When the moment arrived, she handled it with grace, patience and love that only a mother could provide. Before the night was over, she gave me a gentle kiss on the forehead. I truly felt like my mother’s son.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Steven Padilla. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our free newsletter for our best stories.

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