I remember the day I was adopted to my family. The family I had always wished I never knew. I was five years old. I had no idea what was happening or what the social workers were getting me into. Everything would probably be so much different if I had never been adopted. I would have never felt the need to run away. I would have never gotten shot outside the venue. I would have never met them. I would have never met him.

If I were never adopted, my life wouldn't be hell. I wouldn't have a child to leave with in fear that someone would take her from me. Maybe it was because he didn't see me fit as a mother. I'm probably not.

I looked in the rear view mirror to see a soundly sleeping Andy in her car seat, completely oblivious to how her life is changing now. Just yesterday she was born into a world where her parents loved each other. She was born into a world where she made a difference. She caused that spark. I would have to keep telling myself that in order to get through this, because I knew then what I had to do, and it broke my heart.



My five year old feet stumbled behind the social worker, eager to keep up as we walked towards a big unfamiliar door. I had been told before by my mother that you shouldn't knock on a stranger's door. People were crazy. My legs stopped in place about ten feet before the door. A sudden sense of fear set in my heart. What was this man doing? Why was he taking me to a stranger's house? What was happening?

A woman's face appeared at the door after several moments of waiting. She looked a little rough around the edges with her messy bun off to the left side, frizz everywhere. her shirt looked slightly too big for her as well. Her skin looked pale and tight, perfectly matching her dark hair and her eyes glimmered when she saw me.

"She's perfect. Thank you, sir."

The man turned around to look at me behind him, only to realize how far I really was from him. His face turned to an expression that my five year old self recognized as pity, "She seems to be a little shy today, Mrs. Garner. I'm sure she'll warm up in no time."

He walked over to me and knelt down to level his height with mine. he wrapped his arms around me and kissed my forehead, "I know this must be so hard for you to go somewhere where you don't know anyone. If you ever need anything, sweetheart, call this number." He handed me a card with ten numbers on it. I had seen ten numbers like that before, but I didn't know what it was for, "It's a phone number, my work number to be exact. If you ever need guidance or just someone to talk to, put these numbers into a phone and press the button with the green phone on it. I promise I'll answer."

I gave him a big smile and looked over at the woman, completely forgetting the possibilities that I could be going to a bad place. I ran to the woman as she smiled and picked me up. I felt the tears from her eyes leaking onto my shirt as she buried her face into the crook of my neck. I looked back, waving to the social worker as he drove off, never to be seen again. I didn't even know that I would never speak to him again. He didn't exist anymore.



It was the same day that my foster mother took the card away, reassuring me that I wouldn't need it. That day is when my life changed. It was like how a children go outside to play with each other for the last time and no one knew it. I pulled into the driveway at CC's and put the car in park. This had to be done step by step or I wouldn't be able to do it. It would hurt too much.

I got out of the driver's seat and circled the car to get my daughter out. I walked with her in the carrier to the front door. My hands shook slightly as I unlocked the door and turned the knob. I took a deep breath to make sure I wouldn't cry. I knew CC would be in there. And I knew he would be upset that I was leaving for good. It wasn't out of selfishness, even though it sounds like it. I needed to be away from everything. I needed to start fresh, and I knew CC would try to talk me out of it. I rushed to my room and set the carrier down next to the door while I grabbed my multiple suitcases.

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