Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Real Deal

Well, I've just completed my 2nd assignment for my class, and I thought I'd post it on my blog here. It's pretty personal--it's a big part of me, so please! be kind, 'cuz I"m a little nervous! :) Here it is: "The Real Deal."

Maria dashed to her seat just as the bell rang. Mr. Perry began class by wishing everyone a Happy Friday, talking about the upcoming Biology test, and passing back their homework. Then, he startled them with an announcement.
"Today each of you is going to share something with the class." A collective groan passed through the room. Mr. Perry smiled patiently and went on. "Today we begin our series of lectures on genetics. I want all of you to share something you inherited from your parents–your big nose, your small stature..." He stopped in front of Chad. "...perhaps your curly hair." Everyone laughed as Chad dramatically ran his fingers through his crazy ringlets.
"Uh-oh," thought Maria. "What should I do?" Other students began raising their hands and giving their answers. She started to panic a little. Her mind raced. "Maybe I can run to the bathroom. Could I pretend to faint?" No, neither of those things would work. She’d just sit really still and hope Mr. Perry wouldn’t notice her.
"Great job, class!" commended Mr. Perry. "Did we forget anybody?" He scanned the room. Maria froze. "Miss McAllister! What genes did you inherit from your parents?"
In the next split-second, Maria’s options flashed through her mind. She could just make up something. She could be honest and hope for the best. Or maybe she could pull off that faint after all. She took a deep breath and glanced around nervously.
"Well, I’m sure I’ve inherited lots of things, but I don’t know what they are. I’m adopted." She tried to act nonchalant, but the silence was immediate. And painfully awkward. Mr. Perry did his best to ease the tension, but Maria was miserable. She wished desperately for the final bell. Maybe everyone would forget about it by that time.
No such luck. Just as Maria opened her car door, she heard someone calling her name.
She turned to see the five most popular and snobbish girls in school, nicknamed Jessica and Company. This didn’t look good at all. The five of them surrounded her, and Jessica spoke first.
"Hey, Maria, how come you never told anyone you’re adopted?"
Maria shrugged, trying to stay calm. "I don’t really think about it very much, I guess."
"What!?" Jessica was incredulous. "How could you not think about it? Your own mother didn’t want you, and you don’t really think about it?" She smiled wickedly at her cohorts, who quickly joined in.
"So why didn’t your real parents want you?"
"Isn’t it strange not knowing who your real parents are?"
"The McAllisters must’ve felt so sorry for you!"
"Don’t you ever wonder about your real family?"
"What’s your real name?"
"Oh, it must be just terrible to know you’re so different."
At first, Maria tried to answer their questions and correct their misunderstandings, but it was obvious that the girls weren’t just curious. They were being utterly cruel, tossing their hair and laughing at her. Maria was humiliated and crushed, and she cried the whole way home.
At dinner, Maria’s parents could tell that something was bugging her. She pushed her food around her plate and wasn’t talkative at all. When Maria excused herself and took her plate to the sink, Mrs. McAllister asked what was wrong. Maria sighed. "Just a long day, Mom." She pecked her mom on the cheek and gave her a feeble little smile. "Thanks for dinner. Love ya. Love ya, Dad."
Maria sat on her bed, thinking, for a long time. She had such a wonderful relationship with her parents, a relationship most sixteen-year-old girls didn’t have. After all, how many teens go shopping with their mothers every Saturday? Of course she thought about her birth mother, and her birth father, too–especially on her birthday. But she was so grateful, both to God and to her parents, for the loving home she had. Maria had often thought, "Even if I could pick my own parents, I wouldn’t pick anybody else." Then why did Jessica and Company bother her so very much? Maria fell asleep with their stabbing questions floating around in her head. What
about your real parents, your real name, your real, real,...
The next day, Maria and her mom hit all their favorite stores. They found great bargains, as they always did, but Maria just wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as she usually was. A couple hours later, over lunch, Maria’s mom asked her once again what was bothering her.
Maria fiddled with her cup for a few minutes and started to tell her mom about Mr. Perry’s genetics lectures. Maria hadn’t meant to tell Mom everything, but she couldn’t help it.
Before she knew it, she had spilled the whole, dreadful day–the horrible awkwardness in class, the tormenting from Jessica and Company, and Maria’s own feelings about it all. By the time she finished, she and her mom were both crying.
"Oh, honey, I’m so sorry you went through that yesterday!" Maria’s mom exclaimed. "People can be so mean. Maria, your birth parents knew that they couldn’t give you the kind of home you deserved, so they did the most loving thing imaginable; they allowed someone else to give you that home. Your dad and I prayed and wished for you for such a long time, and we’re so glad that God gave you to us. We don’t love you any less, just because you don’t have our silly genes! That’s nonsense!"
Maria had heard her parents say these things to her before. Many, many times, in fact. But she always loved hearing them, especially today. She listened and cried and nodded as Mom reassured her. And she knew then that Jessica and her little clique didn’t have a clue. If they knew Maria’s parents, they’d understand what a "real" family was. And it didn’t get any more real than hers.


Heather said...


I ran across your blog awhile ago after seeing it from Shyla's. I just had the time to start doing it myself. Anyway, that was awesome! You can tell while reading it that it does come from your heart. You are an excellent writer!!!

Shyla said...

You know what's interesting, as I read your entry this morning and thinking about my own family situation...i thought that as close as we were and as much as we talked about everything, it was those things like adoption or a broken home that were deep hurts and a real part of our lives that we never really foused on. Realizing that it didn't have to be focused on and we certainly shared tears on occasions regarding those's neat to see that even through the deep hurt or disappointment that we may experience, the Lord is gracious and loves us more than our earthly fathers (genetic or not)could even begin to love us...just look how he provided us with such great Nates!
You did a nice job in capturing the emotion in that piece. It's always easiest to find inspiration from the heart.