The Life of Me
On November 24, 2005, a baby girl entered the world. Her name was Sena Carlson, and she was… me!
I lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the first two years of my life. My family consisted of: Rohobot, my brother, Rut, my mother, and my father (no one is exactly sure of my father’s name, but evidence favors that it was Tadesse).
When my father died of a mysterious cancer, my mother made the hard decision to put her two children up for adoption. We (my only brother and I) stayed in a few orphanages before we were put into Hannah’s Hope. There we remained for the duration of the adoption process.
Then, in 2008, Robert and Carol Carlson put into motion a plan they had been meditating and praying about for a couple of years- adoption. They flew all the way from Maine, America, to Africa to adopt two little children! Their original plan had been to adopt two older girls.
But (as the story goes), when they saw my brother and me in their adoption pictures, they just couldn’t resist. So instead of two eight-year-old girls, they brought home a giggly two-year-old girl and a bouncing six-year-old boy!
Although I don't remember my former life, my adoptive parents do. They say that when they went there, they were shocked at the massive culture difference. Clothes were hung up wherever there was space. Street vendors littered the streets in the city, trying to sell their goods. People burned their trash, and the smell stained the air.
All the women walked around in beautiful, bright and colorful clothes, even when they did their laundry in huge galvanized tubs outside. The clothes the citizens wore were rarely boring or dull. Because of the climate, they attained summer-weather clothes all through the year. Actually, when my parents went there, it was Ethiopia’s winter. While the people wore coats, my mother and father had on short-sleeved shirts and shorts!
The driving there was extremely reckless, due to no traffic lights maintaining chaos. My mom said that when she went on one of the public buses, the driver even handed out barf bags!
My dad and mom spoke of an immensely sad, heartbreaking side to Africa also; hundreds of starving children swarmed the streets, begging for food. My parents said it was hard for them to watch as the kids even climbed onto cars as the vehicles took off. The children were persistent and held on for dear life to the raging van, pleading for just the tiniest bit of nourishment.
Carol and Robert had raised three children already. Their youngest was fifteen and still lived at home. It was hard for all three to adjust to having two hyper children in the house, but they eventually got into the hang of it! (My older sister tells of how Rohobot used to stand in the doorway of her room and just stare at her- it creeped her out! She’d yell, “Mom, he’s staring at me again!” Apparently my brother had adopted her as his favorite member of the family at the time.)
This July seventh marked our tenth anniversary in America. This country has provided so many resources and opportunities that it’s mind-blowing! My mother says that I have been totally Americanized, that I have adapted to my life here beautifully. I love America- it opens up a totally different life than what I would have had in Africa. My brother and I became citizens in 2018, Rohobot is looking into going to a college next year, and I am thriving in my favorite activities. I recently turned thirteen, and I’ve started delving into everything!
My hobbies are ballet, flute-playing, writing, reading, babysitting for two Bible studies, and helping out with a Bible club every week. I am a busy thirteen-year-old and I love it! I have never gone back to Ethiopia, but I might when I get older. I recently wrote a letter to my birth mother for the first time in a while. Since my brother lives with me, I don’t have a chance to miss him (Thankfully!).
America made my passionate dream of publishing a book come true. I’m sure that I will have an amazing future here with my wonderful family! In fact, I’m well on my way towards my extraordinary future.
Assignment for Writing Lesson #20 (Autobiography)
If you are between the ages of 13 -18,
(or know someone who likes to write stories)
I would like to post your story here.
Send me an email. I'd love to read your story!