In a perfect world, today would have been a perfect day. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and today was far from a perfect day. In reality today wouldn’t have been perfect in any world or in any way, it would just have been “another” day, but in my world it wasn’t just “another” day. Today, October 10, 2012, was the fourth reunion of the day that I walked into a courtroom, stood before a judge, and took on the last name of my adoptive family. Today was, officially, my “family” day. I have never actually had the opportunity to celebrate this day with my family because this day was never “my” day, instead it belonged to a little black boy from Haiti. Of the entire 24 hours, not even 1 belonged to me. Of the 1440 minutes in the day, only 10 really mattered. Because only 10 minutes of this day, four years ago, belonged to me, many believe that this day doesn’t really matter–that it’s just another day. But it’s not. To me, this is the most important–the most celebratory day of the year. This day, the 10 minutes that belonged to me four years ago, was like what I imagine birth would feel like–painful with overwhelming joy and hope. Within a matter of 10 minutes, I was no longer required to carry the burden of my biological families name. I no longer had to pretend that I wasn’t a Teivel. Every piece of documentation regarding my mom and dad changed and labeled them as strangers. I no longer had to accept that, in that moment, my parents were my abusers, partners, or I their pleaser. I didn’t have to worry about walking out of the courthouse, or around town, labeled because of something my bio family did. There was no longer a need to be ashamed of the name I carried. In that 10 minutes, it was as if my past no longer existed, turning it into a screenplay of another child’s past. To me, this day represents everything I am and that is important to me. Being older and with so much loss already under my belt, this day wasn’t just about becoming a family. It was about releasing the things that were hurting me the most, in that moment, and changing what direction my future was going to head. To me, it’s a day that even though my family never celebrates, I wish would be celebrated. I expected it to be this year, I expected that it would be treated the same as it was last year, and it wasn’t. Last year, Bailey made an effort to make this day important. She, Zhanna, her son, and I had a little celebration with dinner and ice cream. I am the type of person who likes routine and consistency, so it’s my habit to go off of what’s happened in the past. I set myself up by expecting, and really hoping, that this year would be similar. It wasn’t. We didn’t do anything. Today didn’t really matter to anyone but me. Bailey remembered after I posted a picture to FB even though I had told her 3 other times this week, Becca remembered because I had a massive meltdown last night, and my adoptive parents didn’t remember at all–even after I texted them and told them. It was upsetting. There aren’t many things that I do like to celebrate or that I feel are important enough to me to actually matter, but this is one of those things that I do wish others could see the importance of. It’s the one day that I want to feel like I’m important and matter more than a presentation, a phone coaching session, or soccer game. It’s a day that even though only 10 minutes belonged to me, I wish others would let be about me. It’s the one day that is supposed to be about me, my most important day of the year, but I felt like I didn’t even matter.

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