Happy Arrival Day

August 20th has always been a significant day for me. I arrived from Seoul, South Korea to Providence, Rhode Island. I was four months old and adopted by a Caucasian couple that had also adopted a baby boy from South Korea five years before. I would soon find out he was my brother, and the only brother I would know of.

My adoptive parents made up a unique day for my brother and me. This day is called, “Arrival Day.” Both of us used to celebrate the day we arrived from South Korea.

As a kid, I viewed my Arrival Day as a second birthday. I would receive gifts and was fed a special meal of my choice, as well as a cake at the end. It was an exciting day. I remember looking forward to it like my own birthday. My friends would ask what the day meant and I wouldn’t be able to explain, so I would have my parents tell them.

As I became older I realized I never put my Arrival Day into perspective. The day shouldn’t be about gifts and special treatment because it’s a day to embrace the person I am. It is a day to think of how lucky and fortunate I am to have my family, who have always been there for me.

My Arrival Day is an emotional day for me, but in a positive way. It opens up my eyes to the concept of life. Who knows what my life would have been like if my birth mom decided to keep me, or get rid of me. Life can be gone in the blink of an eye, and twenty-three years later, here I am. I’m alive and healthy, I have my family and friends, along with a supportive boyfriend.

Never take anything for granted. Sure, gifts are nice and so are cakes, but the smaller things are what really matter. Being loved and supported is a divine feeling, it is the best feeling. Always put things in perspective. Remember how lucky you are. Remember, you’re alive.

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