Nine years ago my sister and I fulfilled a wish of our late father. 13 years after being adopted and moving to southwest Ohio I would return to India with my older sister. It was my father’s wish that I return to India while he was still alive. December 25th, 2004 we set out for India. We packed some plastic toys for the children at the orphanage, a modest donation to the orphanage and whatever clothes we could cram into our suitcases. Mom took us to the airport after we said goodbye to dad, teary-eyed and nervous. I think most people I knew where more apprehensive about the trip than I was. They understood the impression that this trip could have on me. I, on the other hand, knew it was going to be a personally “significant” trip but wasn’t really sure why. I knew returning to the orphanage where I had lived would be intense but did not know why or how.
Almost a decade later I sit here contemplating returning to India again. The first trip was done at the request of my father, this time I am trying to convince myself that it is the right choice. I never took time to process my trip back in 2004. As I move towards the place in my adoption journey where I am considering searching and reunion I find myself wondering how that trip impacted me as a 15-year-old. In my attempt to understand my current desires for searching and reunion I’ll take a look back at my trip nine years ago. I’ll include pictures (for the first time!).