I am from an immaculate house, heady with ammonia and lemon.
I am from a room with eyelet bed skirts, piles of ruffled pillows and the daily expectation of a perfectly made bed.
I am from books and a chalkboard, dance recitals and satin ballet shoes, straight As and honor roll.
I am from Saturday chores inside and out, father’s forehead covered in sawdust, mom elbow-deep in leaves.
But also Friday pizza nights, word games mom never let me win, a happy threesome sitting cross-legged on the shag rug.
I’m from Sunday morning drives to church in a small car with mom’s big cinnabar perfume.
I am from St. Nicholas Church and first holy communion dressed in white. I am from a cool basin of water for blessing, and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost across my chest, from flickering vigil candles at the feet of Mary.
I’m also from Maranatha praise songs – which I liked, itinerate missionary stories – which I didn’t, and baby dedications up front with Pastor Story.
I am from tradition and non-denominational, from altars and holy laughter, from catechism and charisma.
I am from an unknown, unwed accountant. I am from Holy Family Adoption Agency. I am from Sister Batril handing me to mom saying ‘This is God’s gift to you.’
I am from every Adoption Day celebration since.
I am from all of them.