Sitting in a small, crowded room, with about twenty of my family members, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, I stood up to greet a person that had just walked in. The laughter and yelling flowed through my ears like beautiful music. The faces around me colored like tomatoes and double chins were everywhere. They didn't notice that I had moved, as I reached for a hug. I realized in that moment how lucky I was to be there. Suddenly a flashback hits me, time seems to slow down and I am back in time.
When I first stepped through the door this room nine years ago, my hair was a bit longer and my inner a bit broken. Life was a mess, and I most certainly did not want to be adopted or be part of a new family. I wasn't sure if this was the right place. The faces that stood before me with blank expression didn't seem familiar. These people were people I had never seen in my life and they would have to learn to accept me into their lives. My deep thought was broken as an older gentleman came up to me with a cheerful face. His eyes looked into mine, and I quickly looked away. For I thought if I let him look into them, this man who would become my grandfather, would figure me out. He reached for my hand, and shook it gently. I let go fast and quickly reached tightly to my new parents hands. Silly to think that was me nine years ago. So insecure and unsure.
Today as I glance around the same room, the insecurity has vanished. I've realized how much my family has influenced me. Ever since that day I stepped through those doors, my adoptive family has been proud to call me their daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin. I have accepted them as a family and they have accepted me. Even through many hard years of learning to embrace one another, I have found that there is such thing as love. They also taught me that it is okay to speak your mind and that it okay to be you. I love the fact that I come from a family so open to new ideas. It taught me to be open to new ideas, people and places. They taught me not to limit myself to anything and go beyond the stars, and to never give up because once you get past all the crazy dilemmas it gets better. I've learned that this life is a great gift and we should live it to the fullest. I am no longer that insecure, unsure, shy person. If I were still that person, I would be terrified to put on a swim suit (with my big body) and go out and swim for my school and competed with the Cypress Swim Club synchronized swim team. I would have never found my passion for acting and singing. My shyness no longer takes over me. I talk to the whole world, I listen to what every one has to say. And I have learned to listen to myself. And instead of reaching out with trembling hands, I give a strong firm shake of confidence._Marta_Flinn_