My name is Bekah. I am 23 years old and was born in the second week of January in 1994. I know nothing about my first few days of being alive, except that I was abandoned on the streets of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra and found underweight, marasmic and sick with dysentery by police on January 11th. My first few weeks of life were spent in the hospital and foster care as inquiries were being made to find my guardians. It was during this time that I was given a name, Pranali. When nobody came forward to claim me, an institution called BSSK in Pune gained custody and I was healthy enough to be admitted for further rehabilitation. I was then declared available for adoption, and continued to wait for my forever family.
Meanwhile, across the globe in Columbia, SC a woman who ached to be in India again was raking the leaves in the front yard when she was suddenly overwhelmed with flashbacks of India. Moments later her husband walked out of the house saying BSSK had called Holt International with news of a little female baby waiting and that’s when my mama knew. Two months later, she was bringing me home to America just in time for Christmas. I was 11 months old when I found my forever family.
Growing up I was so torn. I desperately wanted to fit in somewhere. I wasn’t completely Indian, nor was I completely American. My parents never hid my adoption or my sisters’ adoptions from us (we all were adopted from the same orphanage in Pune). I longed for my mother’s beautiful white skin, and she in turn would stroke my hands and long for my beautiful dark skin. As I entered my teen years, wonder turned to anger and I spent many years angry at my birthmother for leaving me and abandoning me. How could I be so easy to give up?
I am now a young woman who has overcome the anger (somewhat) and am now in the process of coming to terms with the magnitude of the tragedy that transpired in my early life. After contacting Holt to gather more information about my adoption I learned that because I was abandoned and no one came forward to claim me when inquiries were made about my guardians, there is not enough information to conduct a search for my birthfamily. As heartbreaking as it was to read those words, it brought some closure to the wonder and hurt I’d been experiencing all these years.
I plan on going back to India for the first time within the next year or two, when I’m emotionally and financially ready. It won’t be a vacation – it will be a heavy trip so I plan on letting it happen when it’s supposed to. I don’t want to go before I’m ready. In the meantime, this blog is for my thoughts on adoption and the voice of the adoptee, and I invite you to join me on this journey to figuring out who I am.