Tag Archives: adoption

An Open Letter to My Grandparents

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Dear abuelitos,
     I can’t believe you’re not speaking to me. I’ve called you multiple times and left voicemails, texted you, and I mailed you a letter. No response. The last time I called, you ended the call after it rang a couple times. I didn’t think you could “break up” with your granddaughter, but I guess that IS a thing. I thought “ghosting” was only something in the online dating world, but apparently, it’s not reserved to 20-somethings who don’t know how to be honest or have real conversations.
     I’ve been ghosted by my grandparents. It’s actually kind of funny. Or it would be, if the reason wasn’t so absurd, mind-blowing, and hurtful.
     I asked my dad to adopt me last month. He’s been my dad for 22 years–almost my entire life. It was such a happy moment and we all cried tears of joy, knowing that this was only making paper-official what has been heart-official for over two decades. We went to court, stood before a judge, and threw a small party to celebrate. Everyone was over the moon, sending us their well wishes and congratulations. Everyone except you, I guess. You decided to cut me out of your life instead.
     What confuses me the most is that we’ve talked about your son, my biological father, on many occasions. You’ve apologized to me for his actions and his absence. We’ve talked about his drug use, we’ve talked about his violence toward my mother, and we’ve talked about how he hasn’t made any attempt to reenter my life or get to know me in any way. If he was half a man, he’d thank my dad for doing his job for him.
     Despite my resentment toward him, I contacted him, to try to find out why you were ignoring me. He didn’t respond. I guess social media is the only way to reach you–that seems to be the way you found out about the adoption. You definitely didn’t talk to me about it. I can’t get ahold of you at all, so I’m hoping this letter makes its way to you.
     My dad has done so much for me in 22 years–do you even realize what he’s done? Your son never paid a cent of child support (which you said you’d do for him, but then never did). My dad is the reason I’m not in extreme debt–he helped me through college, he helped me buy a car, not to mention feeding me, clothing me, putting a roof over my head…you know, the usual Dad duties.
     More importantly, my dad has been my shoulder to cry on. He’s held my hand, hugged me tight, and bandaged my injuries more times than I could possibly count. He was there through both of my surgeries. He knows all my friends. He knew my boyfriends. He answers his phone every time I call.
      I am grateful for your son, for giving me life. I am grateful for his creativity, which I’m told he had much of–some people say that creativity is passed on, some say I’ve acquired it through my life experiences. I’m not sure, but if the former is true, then I am grateful. I am grateful to keep my last name, which connects me to my Mexican heritage. And I was grateful for my relationship with you–my grandparents–even though we didn’t have a relationship for years and I felt like you’d abandoned me just like your son did. But for the past few years especially, I’ve loved the relationship we’d formed. And now you’re gone again, like you never existed at all.
      How odd it is to only have half a family. It’s something I’ve struggled with all my life. Most of the time, I feel OK, I feel whole. Aunt Gigi helped with that–she, as you know, has always been an important person in my life. She stuck by our side after Mom decided to get a divorce. She’s never been absent from my life. And now you’ve taken her away from me too. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse–you blocked my number at her house. I used to talk to her on the phone almost every day.
     I didn’t know you could be so heartless. It astounds me that your blood is my blood; I came from you. We are the same yet so, so different.
     I will probably never hear from you again, and that’s fine. Well, it’s not fine, but if that’s your choice, then I will live with it. All I can do is hope that one day, you’ll realize the senseless pain you’ve caused. Or maybe, since you claim to be good Catholics, it will be God who helps you to realize this when you meet him at the gates one day. I have never wanted more for Him to be real.
     Sincerely,
your granddaughter
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Adopt Don’t Shop!

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abby

Originally published online for Texas Lifestyle Magazine 🙂

 

I was recently in the market for a new puppy and WOW! I had no idea how intense the adoption process could be here in the Austin area. Do your research, be patient, and be prepared to fall in love with more animals than you could ever possibly fit into your entire house.

Austin is incredibly pet-friendly, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the vast number of shelters in the city: Austin Animal Center, Austin Pets Alive, and Austin Humane Society are the frontrunners.

First of all, definitely check out the websites and all of their listed adoption availabilities, but don’t limit yourself to that—go in person as soon as you can! Shelters receive animals (young and old, canine, feline, and more) daily. There’s no telling what could happen when you go look on site—someone could be dropping off a litter of kittens at that exact moment, and one of those sweet whiskered friends could be perfect for you. Shelters will set up in front of pet supply stores frequently, but that’s such a small percentage of what you’ll experience at the shelter itself.

On the other hand, some of the baby fur balls are in foster care, which means you can’t meet them until you fill out an adoption application, contact the foster family, and set up a meet-and-greet. Yes, application. As in, you might have to “interview” for the pet of your dreams! Apparently, adopting a pet can be quite similar to adopting a child, and I get it—shelters want their animals to live in the most loving and caring environments as possible. Don’t get discouraged by the meticulous process—it’ll be worth it once you’re home with your new pup or kitty.

Not sure if you’re ready to adopt? Volunteer at a shelter! You can walk, feed, bathe, and play with animals who could really use some one-on-one attention. Plus, you’ll get to know the shelter better and be able to get a more in-depth view of the animals’ personalities.

Finally, don’t forget, there are tons of surrounding small towns with shelters that aren’t really advertised. I wound up adopting the most beautiful lab mix from Seguin Animal Services after a friend of mine shared this Facebook post announcing a total of eight “Christmas puppies” that were ready for a safe home.

Here’s our adorable Abby today, a month later: (top photograph)

We are so happy that we adopted—it’s tragic to think about the life Abby would’ve had if the shelter hadn’t found her or if she would’ve never been adopted. Before visiting the shelters, I was researching buying a lab puppy from breeders—so glad I didn’t go this route. Save yourself hundreds of dollars and save a pet’s life—adopt don’t shop!

 

 

About the author: Alysha Kaye is a high school English teacher in Kyle, TX and recent author—her debut novel The Waiting Room is available on Amazon and at BookPeople. When she’s not wrangling 9th graders, she’s blogging, reading, or exploring Austin.

For more, follow her on Twitter @alyshakaye7 or check out her website: http://www.alyshakaye.com