I was probably 4 years old. Eager. Excited. Rushing out of my room wearing my onesie pajamas with the feet connected. Snug. Comfy. Feeling the plastic of the bottom of the footies gently stick to the green shag carpet as I ran.
I rushed out to the living room. The lights on the Christmas tree lit. Sparkling. Packages of wrapped gifts from Santa collected around the base of the tree. I had never seen anything so magical.
This same tree which was bare underneath last night now surrounded with mounting presents in red and white with bows and name tags from a man who had never found my homes before. But now, that I was adopted, he had.
This proving to be my new home. My new address. With what was going to be my blue eyed, blond haired family. Except my mother who’s eyes were a light hazel.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing before me. I had no idea what to do. Which gift to grab first. Wondering what was the etiquette?
My hazel eyed, dark blond, mother gently knelt down next to me. Handing me a wrapped box.
I looked over at my blond haired, blued eyed older sister sitting next to me and grabbing a gift for herself.
I looked over at my blue eyed, blond haired father sitting on the couch, sipping coffee from his steaming cup.
I looked back into my mother’s hazel eyes, wondering if they all noticed how different I looked then them. If they noticed my eyes were dark green as much as I noticed theres were light and blue. If they stared at my red hair the way I stared at their blond. I looked behind my mother’s eyes, feeling her love gazing back. Feeling it warm my soul.
“Let’s see what Santa brought you.” She whispered with a smile.
I gently took the wrapped box from her hands. I delicately uncrinkled the paper. Ever so carefully slicing the tape.
I didn’t have many memories before this, but I knew this was a first. One I would always remember. Forever cherish. A beginning with the family that would be mine.
I looked back at my sister’s curious blue eyes watching me. Back over at my father’s focused blue eyes still watching his mug. Meeting my mother’s light hazel eyes again before peeling back the paper of my first gift.
Inside was a doll. My first. A blue eyed, blond haired doll.
I felt my smile slowly fade as my new mother asked me what was wrong.
I struggled to find the words to explain the combination of gratitude for my adoption while aware this wasn’t where I truly belonged.
I looked at this blond haired, blue eyed doll seeing it looked like everyone who surrounded me. Reminding me of my red haired, green eyed difference. Reminding me while this was my family now, it wasn’t the family in which I came. This doll looked like them while reminding me there was no one left who looked like me. Their existence, their home, now unknown. Leaving me questioning if even Santa could find them.
My four year old vocabulary unable to describe, I put the smile back on my face. And gazed over at my new loving mom. I thanked her. And then I stared at that doll for the remainder of the morning.