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   THE ELY FAMILY

Remembering adoption: Cynthia Ely relates her experiences in foster care, in adoption, and today, as an adult.

Before I was adopted...


I was in the same foster home for four years. Although I learned to love my foster grandmother, I didn't enjoy being in foster care. I didn't feel welcomed, nor like I was part of the family. At times, I felt like something was wrong with me for not having a family. People felt sorry for me. Most of all, I missed my mother's love.
 

What adoption meant to me as a kid...

At first I was scared because I didn't want to leave my foster mother, and I had to move to another city. I cried during the whole drive from Yonkers, NY to Rochester, NY. But after a while, I settled in, and began to love my new family. I was finally in a place where I felt cared for and looked after. I had my own room, my own toys, my own clothes, and my own space.
 

 

There were times I wished for my mother, and wondered if she was in heaven watching over me. Sometimes I felt guilty loving my new parents because I thought I was betraying her.

Although I became a member of a new family, I often wondered about my biological family. Who did I look like, where did I get my personality? As I got older, I became less and less concerned about my differences, and just "blended" in.

What adoption means to me as an adult...

I've come to realize that family is important. Family is where you can be yourself without feeling insecure. Family is there to cheer for your successes, love you when you are in pain, forgive you when you've done wrong, and give you courage when you feel insecure. I'm lucky to have my parents and siblings. Although we may not all share the same blood, we have strong bonds. I love them very much.