US$290.00raised of $1,000.00 goal goal
Hello everyone! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. My name is Olivia Kass and I live in Massachusetts. At two months old, I was put up for adoption in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Before the age of 1, I was adopted into my family and came to the United States. I have lived my entire life here in Massachusetts with my wonderful family consisting of my mother, father, brother, and dog. I am extremely fortunate for my family, especially my parents. Throughout my entire life, they have tried their hardest to ensure I felt safe, supported, and knowledgeable about being adopted. I am grateful for this as I know many adoptees grow up unaware of their situation or their adoption, however that was never my experience. I grew up in a loving home with nothing but wonderful memories.
My entire life I have struggled with being adopted, especially from a different country and culture. Growing up, talking about Ecuador and what my birth family is like was often discouraged by my parents for obvious reasons. Ecuador has always seemed like another planet to me, a planet that is so foreign that I would never tangibly know or be able to visit. The only information I was ever given about my adoption was that I was born with the name Lisbeth, in Santo Domingo, and my birthday is on August 1st. I have always felt so disconnected from the world in the way that I have never truly known much about myself. As a child, I so badly wanted to know about my culture, my people, and my country. However, the only information I would ever attain about Ecuador was what I found on the internet. Reflecting back on why I did not research Ecuador more as a child leads me to the conclusion that I was simply not ready to know that information. I was not ready to take on a culture and another part of me that I could not tangibly experience.
My first ever trip to Ecuador consisted of studying at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and living in Quito with the most wonderful host family. I made some pretty amazing friends, a few of which helped me reach out to the lawyer of my adoption so I could speak to her face to face. Upon meeting her for the first time, I had finally felt a personal attachment to my birth country. I finally felt that Ecuadorian part of me I had been dying to meet. My second trip to Ecuador was in 2019 when I interned at a shelter for survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. During this visit, I stayed with a different host family and was able to experience life outside of the University.
During my short life span, I have been fortunate enough to experience many things. One thing that I have always dreamed about is fitting into a family, a family composed of relatives-that I would resemble. For the first time, I want to feel whole and like I fit without having to try. With the help of the lawyer of my adoption, I have made the decision to hire a private investigator to search for my birth family. After the hardest year of my life, along with many others who fought to get through this year, I would like something positive to come out of it and I am ready for whatever these results will bring, negative or positive. Empowering myself in finally having knowledge about my birth family will finally bring me the peace I have been longing for my entire life. I believe right now will be the only opportunity I have to make this journey and I fear if I do not do this now, I will never want to pursue it in the future.
While the pandemic has created a multiplicity of financial hardships for many people, I do not have all the necessary funds to hire the private investagor which is why I have created this fundraising page. Thank you so much taking the time to read my story. Any amount would help make this dream a reality and if you can’t donate financially, I’d still be forever grateful if you’d share this with your family and friends. Thank you so much.
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