My Adoption Story
“Life is complicated, but everyday is a blessing.”
I was adopted at birth, along with my sister, into a traditional Christian family in a closed adoption. My adoptive parents were both school teachers and championed us to do well for ourselves. We always had a lot of love in our home and plenty of opportunities. They did their best to raise us with good morals, strong character, and a solid work ethic. With both my parents being teachers, they instilled and emphasized the value of hard work, and doing well in school was a high priority in their household.
We always knew we were adopted from a very young age…
at night my mother would read us a picture book whose main characters were also adopted and it became our own story in a way. It was just part of who we were, and I was fortunate to be chosen by such loving parents.
We traveled a lot as a family so I was able to see many different places early on. It made me begin to look at life from a larger perspective. Seeing how other people lived fueled my drive to succeed and when opportunities started to present themselves, I went for it. That ambition stuck with me.
During high school, I was involved in student government and had real leadership qualities. After graduating, I went to college at Cal Poly in Pomona for Architecture. After my first year of college, I met a successful businessman who took me under his wing and began to mentor me. He had an adopted child, so he really took an interest in seeing me succeed. I had just completed my first year as an architecture major in college, and realized I wanted to be a real estate developer instead. He was instrumental in helping me transfer to USC, School of Business, which really changed the trajectory of my career and life for the better.
College also gave me a chance to reconnect with my love of travel, having the opportunity to study abroad on a trip they called, “Semester at Sea.” We traveled around the world and studied while visiting places like Egypt, India, and Sri Lanka. During the trip, some of that early ambition kicked in when I was running low on money, and noticed all of my classmates buying large bulky items during their excursions, which they would need to have shipped back home to California from Baltimore, where our trip ended. I had an idea. Before we arrived, I began negotiating rates to arrange for a truck to arrive at our port, and offer students a cheaper alternative to ship items back to California. The money I was able to make helped pay for my trip.
Being off on my own, I really got to discover who I was and alternatively, who I wanted to be. It was my opportunity to forge my own path in life but as with most students that age, I took full advantage, rebelling a bit at first. A few years after college, I met a woman who would later become my wife. She helped me refocus and led me back to the faith that I had neglected from my childhood. I quickly began to buckle down and work hard in my career. Over the following 10 years after college, I began working for my mentor and learned how to harness my real estate development skills. His guidance and attention helped me succeed in the field.
As time went on, and I was successful in the direction of my career, I began to look for ways to give back to other adopted children. I got involved with a non-profit group known as “Kinship Center”. I participated in adoption-related panels to assist counseling social workers and hopeful adoptive parents.
Being adopted has shaped my life in many ways, but “grateful,” is one word that would encompass my adoption experience. I am blessed to have been chosen by supportive parents who wanted nothing but the best for me. It taught me about love. “Life is complicated, but every day is a blessing.”