From Susan Hillis:
Part I: Here is the story that our effervescent Ksusha wrote about what being adopted was like for her, about her early roots and the memories she has before being adopted. This part ends with the story of coming home to our large family, a family being restored after she had lost her first family. I would call this the 'I am adopted' part of the story. Symbolically, I think of it as the "I leave Egypt" part of her story.
Ksusha is in 10th grade. This first part of her story was written when she was 12 years old, five years after she was brought home.
Healing: A Hard Beginning And A Wonderful End
I am going to tell you a little about my life. I was born in Russia. I had 3 sisters and one brother. Before my mom had me, my brother Alex and my sister Anya got taken away and put in an orphanage, and I had 2 sisters left, Sveta, who was one year old and Masha, who was 4 at the time. When I was born, Masha was like a mom to me. She took good care of me when my mom and dad were drunk.
|Ksusha's Russian birth parents|
When I got to the orphanage with my 2 sisters, we were taken to different rooms. We were together for about one year in that orphanage when one of my sisters, Sveta got taken away to another orphanage. So me and Masha, who still was like a mom to me, were still together. When I was 5, we got a letter saying that my dad had died. It was heartbreaking to both of us.
|Ksusha (left) with sisters Sveta and Masha|
Two years later I was about to get ready to go to piano lessons when my boss told me that I wouldn’t be going to piano lessons today because somebody is coming to see me and Masha. It was very shocking, but I did stay and put on a beautiful purple dress. But the lady never came. The people that worked at my orphanage said that the lady would not come until the next day, because she went to visit Sveta and that is why she didn’t come.
|Ksusha (center), with Sveta and Alex, runs from the orphanage|
into her parents' arms
Part II: Just last week Ksusha wrote a poem about who she is now, 10 years after being adopted. I call this the "I am an American girl, I am a believer, and I am a daughter" part of the story. Symbolically, I think of it as "I am beginning to walk towards the Promised Land the Lord has for me."
I am from a small town near St. Petersburg, Russia
I am from a family of 12
Cristi, sasha, masha, katya, anya, alex, sveta, vasya,
Trevor, me, and my mom and dad
I am from the country
My favorite songs are
“remind me,” “Country Girl (Shake it from me)”
And “crazy girl”
I am from dirt bikes and four wheelers
Horses and trucks
I am from Jesus Christ
My favorite verse is jeremiah 29:11
I am from my mama’s cookin’
Mashed potatoes and country ham
I am from a loving family
Who always understands.
|Ksusha, in her daddy's arms, then and now.|
|The Hillis family.|