My Second Chance at Life, By *Taylor Patterson 

My father once wrote, “This life offers us the opportunity to change everyday, and everyday offers us the opportunity to do better for ourselves and for others.  Tayor, when you awaken every morning, believe in your heart that each day is like the beginning of a great idea.”

When we are born we have one life to live, I am a believer that we have a path we must take in life and live it to the fullest of our ability. But there are the select few of us who get a second chance at life. I was lucky enough to be one of those people.

When I was 8 years old my parents sat me down to have a conversation that they probably had been dreading for years, about me being adopted. They had sent my brother away for the day, and kept me home, thinking I was in trouble. I devised many ways to lie my way-out of whatever situation they were going to bring up. My mom sat me down in the living room with her, and with the most serious and calm undertone said, “Taylor, you were adopted.” My initial reaction was, “This must be a joke.” I started to laugh, but when I saw that she kept her composure, my emotions soon turned into confusion and they only thing I could do was cry. My entire life no one in my family ever made me feel like I wasn’t their biological child. I asked them if they knew who my biological parents were, and why they had chosen to adopt? They gave me what little information they had about my adoption: I was born in Queens, and adopted when I was just 10 days old, that I was the youngest of eight, and that my mom couldn’t get pregnant so they decided adoption was the best option.

This was the decision that changed my path in life and gave me a second chance. Since the day I was told I was adopted I’ve taken each opportunity I had been given and taken advantage of it to my fullest ability. I’ve been able to travel around the world, to Costa Rica, and on multiple trips to Europe.

This past summer I went on a community service trip to Costa Rica for two weeks. We lived in a small village in the mountains with host families as we constructed an arena to be used for rodeos and other community functions.   I lived with my host parents, 9 children and one grandchild, all surviving on the menial income of the father. As I lived in the host home with its tin roof and incomplete walls, with 11 people, I thought about how my life could have been had I not been given up for adoption. Would I have attended top-notch schools, would I have dropped out of high school by now to help support my family? Would I have been able to experience different cultures both here and abroad? These are questions as still ask myself.

To this day my mom still gets a little on-edge whenever I bring up my birth family, but particularly when I ask about my birth mother. I believe she feels that when I turn 18, and do decide to find my birth family, that I will develop a relationship with my birth mom, that will take away from our relationship. But if you know my mom, you know I AM her daughter. She raised me into the strong, independent young woman that I am today. She pushed me to do the best I could even when didn’t believe that I could do it, she helps me reach my goals and one day when I become a successful woman like her all her hard work will have paid off.

Although my mom was more the parent that pushed me academically, my dad taught me how important it was to talk and express how I felt through conversation and to always keep family close. He showed me that being emotional is something that makes us human. And empathizing with people is important. I can honestly say this is the one thing I get from my dad that I will be able to take with me throughout the rest of my life.

I am grateful that my birth mom had the foresight to understand that she didn’t have the resources to raise me. I am grateful to my parents for having had the courage to adopt. Little did they know what they were getting themselves into…!

I was given a second chance at life, that’s what I think is awesome, and I am determined to live that life to the fullest of my ability.

*Name changed

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