My Real Parents

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"So why don't you live with your real parents?" people ask me as soon as they find out that I'm adopted.

Normally, I calmly explain my story and with it more questions come. But when I'm annoyed, I state harshly, "I do live with my real parents" and walk off. Sometimes there are just too many questions. Other times I just don't want to answer them.

I remember when everything was good: gathering rocks with my twin sister Katy and our mom, and then together we would paint them. Other times we drew pictures with birds. But then it all went away. Our mom and her boyfriend got into huge fights. One time Katy and I watched a screaming match on the side of the road over broken mugs. The fights got fewer but Katy and I saw them less. They slept during the day, and mom was acting strange, not herself. I often picked up Katy to lift her onto the counter to get food since our mom wasn't awake. Other times our neighbor would invite us over for lunch or dinner.

When I was four, the women in the black suits came to our apartment. I ran to the door to let them in, not wanting them to have to stand outside in the rain. Once inside, I looked up to see strangers. My mom asked, "Can I help you?" One of them awkwardly shifted her weight and replied, "We just need to speak to you." She glanced from me to Katy. "Alone." When we were called back in, my mom was crying and told us that we had to go with these strangers. No matter how much we fussed we had to leave.

Katy and I were then in various foster homes until my aunt drove us to our new permanent home. On the front door was a giant sign that our cousin Avery and her dad had made. It said "Welcome Home, Katy and Kimi!"  Since then I have never considered another place home.


Home is where my real parents are, the ones that have looked after me and grabbed food off the counter when I couldn't reach. They're the people I can rely on.

With a Perspective, I'm Kimberly Carter.
Kimberly Carter is 14 years old and in the eighth grade at the Alameda Community Learning Center, an East Bay charter school.