To The Family Who Doesn’t Understand

Now before you all freak out, I do love my family. I’m just having a moment…

I was told India is such a different country than America. More poverty, more people, more noise. You can’t truly understand India unless you travel half way across the country and experience it for yourself. So that’s just what the Gadola’s did.

The Ties kids playing “Spot it” while waiting for the parents

My brother and I were adopted from New Delhi at a very young age. We were both born in the same hospital but at seperate orphanages. My mom, Preeti, knows India because her parent’s grew up there. She speaks a little Hindi, and she has a huge family that lives there, many in which Sameer and I hadn’t met before.

Back at home, Sameer and I have four cousins. 3 which live in Florida, and one who lives in New York. We don’t see them very often so it feels a little lonely when you want to hang out with family around your age, but you’re stuck with Sameer. Here in India, we’ve been meeting second cousins left and right. Aunts and Uncles we never knew we had, our grandparent’s relatives… the whole kit and cabootle.

Along with meeting family, we found an organization called “India Ties” which is based out of the States. It’s basically for families who have adopted children from India and it’s a chance for them to go back and to be tourists together and experience where we came from. There are 26 people in our group, two American coordinators/leaders, and one Indian tour guide.

Having kids who are in the same situation as me is making the process of being back in India a little easier. We have breakout sessions where kids and parents split apart and we debrief what we’ve experienced.

We all bought traditional Indian outfits for New Years Eve

Having that been said, we all process things differently. Sameer is the type that gets externally emotional, which there is NOTHING wrong with that… we’ve experience lots of things that’s taken a toll on us kids. We’ve seen homelessness, we’ve been to orphanages and seen kids with disabilities, we’ve had beggars come up to us crying to give them money… you name it, we’ve probably seen it.

Going into education, it breaks my heart seeing kids wander around the streets asking for money, or even just seeing a kid where you can see their ribs popping out. No person should ever have to go through hunger, but since India has over a billion people, it’s over populated and it’s honestly survival of the fittest.

A little boy I met at the first orphanage we visited

It’s amazing having kids to relate with, but there comes a point where I personally just need to step back and process everything by myself. I’m on a bus with 25 other people for hours on end (because of the horrible traffic here…) and I room with Sameer and we’re constantly visiting family so it feels like there’s never an opportunity where I can just take a minute and depict what emotions I have going on inside of me.

Coming back to India for the first time since I was born is hard on me. There’s so much to process and there’s so many things running through my head that I just want to think about things by myself, but being forced to visit family all the time and being stuck with people 24/7, it’s hard for me.

I get crabby and anxious being around people for 11 days straight and I’m at a point where I just want to scream.

I’ve been wanting to tell my family for a while now that I just need time to myself, just a day where nothing is going on and were I can think and read and listen to music to relax and get back to my normal self but my family is always wanting to go see family. Yes, family is important and I do want to meet everyone here, but when I haven’t had time to myself in 11 days, I’m going batshit crazy over here.

Today I got some free time, I got to finish my paper for school that was due by the end of break, I got to read, I got to journal, but I was pulled out in the middle of my time to visit family. Today was the first day where the tour group wasn’t doing anything- all the other families went to the province where their kids were born, but since the tour is stationed in New Delhi, the Gadola’s stayed here.

Bike ride we took to get to our destination… many of these around India

At the family member’s house today, I was anxious the entire time and didn’t say much. Didn’t eat even when I knew I was hungry. I just felt like I needed to run away and just think more because I hadn’t finished from earlier. When we got out of the house and went to travel to another family member’s home, I told my parents I needed more alone time. I just needed time to write my thoughts down and to just slow down for a second. They agreed, but it was like I was committing some crime.

Not to call him out, but my dad said to me “suck it up.” …Suck it up? I’m in India for the first time, one day away from going to the hospital where I was born and two days away from going to my orphanage for the first time and you’re telling me to suck it up?

I may just be going off on an unnecessary tangent to some people reading this but when you are adopted, not knowing any of your background, who your own biological parents are… this is difficult to handle for a 19 year old. I’m sorry I don’t want everyone to meet me all the time and talk to me and ask “oh how’s school going?” when I’ve reached what to me is the most important part of my life so far.

There’s been a lot happening here in India, and it’s a culture shock for me. For my family to not understand where I’m coming from is frustrating, and I’m sorry but it’s my right to be stressed out and anxious and want time to myself to process. I have a right to not be alright, but deal with it myself, ALONE.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time. I can’t beginning to imagine the struggle that this must be. It’s a very stressful and anxious situation. But, I think writing your thoughts and feelings down is a very positive thing. I think sometimes where parent’s are concerned, you have to listen to what they say, but only take what they say with a pinch of salt. If you get what I mean. It’s a bit insensitive for your dad to say ‘suck it up, he should be trying to support you. But unfortunately, you can’t change him. If he doesn’t want to understand or even try then that on him. Try and believe that you can get through this. You can do it. I know it’s hard.
    I hope the next couple of days goes well for you. I wish you all the best. ❤
    – Hannah


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