Monday, February 2, 2015

Her own journey

If you missed my post last week, take a moment to browse through it.  Below are the words of someone very special to me... someone that is loved by many... my oldest daughter.  After all of these years, she has a place to share her view-point on things-- and as you will soon see, she has a story to share.  Learn from her perspective, struggles and persevering spirit!
Enjoy,
Janelle

I never imagined my life would take such a drastic and life-changing turn at the young age of nineteen. I never expected or planned for that single moment in time where my life would be forever changed and that the person I once was could never be again.
            Now let me take a moment to introduce myself; my name is Katherine. I was adopted through Family Life Services and as you may be aware, my birth mother is Janelle Basham. People would often ask me, “So what’s it like to be adopted?” And to me it’s no different than anyone else. Maybe its because I met my birth mother and her family at such a young age that I can hardly recall NOT knowing her. I was always vocal about the fact I was adopted and have never been shy or embarrassed to answer questions about adoption or my many families.
            I grew up in a loving and Christian home. I have an older sister and a younger brother, so yes that makes me the head-strong middle child. And believe it or not I wore that title proudly. One interesting fact about my family is that all of my siblings were adopted through FLS so we all share that commonality. As a young child I loved spending time outdoors, playing and watching sports, and annoying my parents and siblings. I could easily be classified as a huge tomboy and I would never back down from anyone bigger than me (and most people WERE bigger than me.) In middle school I took up saxophone, soccer and basketball, soon quitting the saxophone but sticking with sports. Every year I was involved in multiple sports but later on in High School I settled on basketball. I kept the same mentality that  “I may not be the biggest but I will play like I am.” And I did, even though I’m closer to 5’ I never let that stop me. I ended up having a very successful basketball career and earned conference and state honors. Some other activities that I was involved in included student government, choir and writing for our school’s newspaper. All in all my teens years were pretty normal and I expected the coming years to be the same. But now looking back, I was so wrong.
            I was raised in a Christian church. Every Sunday my family would attend Sunday School and then the church service. I knew all the songs, scriptures and ideologues. Not only did my family attend a Christian church I attended a private Christian middle and high school. I loved music and sang with the worship team and was involved in Bible Quizzing and youth group. At school I helped with chapels and led class discussions on religion and beliefs. I was exceptionally grounded and knowledgeable when it came to the Bible and religion. But what I lacked was an unshakeable and undeniable belief in God.

            After graduating from high school I decided to “take a year off,” and work, live independently, and “figure out my next steps” whenever I arrived at “those next steps.” Honestly, I lacked any type of life direction. So I continued to work, forgot about church (because the alternative of sleep was incredibly enticing), and I typically spent my weekends partying and hanging out with my friends. I fought with my parents, struggled to pay rent with my part-time waitressing job and I even experienced my first “heartbreak”. I was a pretty average 18 year old who I thought did typical “18 year old things.” What I failed to realize was these “normal 18 year old things to do,” would very soon lead me down a similar path as someone who came before me. It led me to the same place, literally the same home, that my birth mother Janelle had been almost 22 years ago. It was time for me to face reality and the exact decisions (and consequences) she once had too. Now as my journey is unfolding I’m constantly relying on my competitive outlook, my new faith, and my family to help decipher the unknowns and champion the roadblocks I find myself running into. Every day is a new struggle, joy, and situation to overcome and learn from. Yet at the end of each day I’m left wondering what tomorrow may bring.

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