“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear James? Happy birthday to you!” James was awoken by the duet of his mother and father congratulating him on his arrival to the next year of his life. He had now approached double figures, a young boy of ten years, and his parents had planned a little surprise in celebration of this.
“Come on dear, please get changed quickly.”
“What’s the hurry mum?” James asked intrigued and excitedly.
“We are off to visit your grandmother.” The enthusiasm was rapidly lost among James’ imagination and the possibility of a rather uninteresting day became more apparent.
“Oh…. alright then mum.”
“There’s no need to sound so melancholy about it.”
James’ grandmother lived quite locally and when his parent’s drove past her house, James’ unenthusiastic little face, suddenly filled with colour and his expression was of sheer delight. This was not because James disliked his grandmother, quite the opposite as he enjoyed visiting her. However, because she lived within a close proximity to his house, James made regular visits to her and the prospect of spending his birthday celebrations at her house did not seem terribly exhilarating.
When they parked the car at the Theme Park, James was greeted by his friends and smothered with beautifully wrapped presents. It was similar to what one could expect in a fairy tale, and the children walked off in high spirits, discussing which amusement ride to queue for first.
The day went past and a selection of James’ friends returned to his house for a sleep over.
“I like your house James.”
“Thanks Tim. Haven’t you been here before?”
“No. I haven’t even met your parents before. Well your adopted parents should I say.”
“What do you mean ‘adopted parents’. What are they?”
“If your adopted it means that the people you live with are not your real mum and dad, but people who try to act like them.”
“I don’t follow you. What makes you think I am adopted?”
“Well…um your skin. Yes your skin, it is quite a different colour to you fathers. Your father is Malaysian isn’t he?”
“Well you should have darker skin then if you are half Malaysian.”
The mystifying conversation (for James especially) was then interrupted by his mother who asked,
“Who would like some ice-cream?”
Due to everyone loving ice-cream, the conversation appeared to vanish from the minds of the children almost immediately. The remainder of the night was spent watching videos and they steered clear from any type of thought provoking conversation.
One by one the children fell into a deep sleep whilst watching the videos at such a late hour. As the clock chimed for the first hour of morning the only person remaining awake within the house was James. Frustratingly for him the words, “Well your adopted parents should I say,” were amply circulating his mind like the earth never seizes to stop encircling the sun. He was unable to comprehend the thought of being adopted not realising it. He eventually came to the conclusion that the only sensible option was to seek the truth and confront his parents upon the matter. James’ fresh dilemma was on how to approach his parents and how exactly to begin conversation upon the matter.
Endless weeks flew by and James was still unable on how he should approach the matter. He had absolutely no idea on what his parent reaction would be and if they would be honest, or if they would try to smooth over the situation by avoiding the subject. James tried to devise a solution, or whether he should wait a while and ask the question when he had matured further, and acquired greater understanding upon the subject. The thought was mentally torturing and James came out of his room to relax and watch some television. His parents were watching a ‘David Attenborough’ documentary regarding reptiles, and this seemed an interesting alternative to the repetition of the daunting thought imprinted into his mind. He planted himself into the warm and cosy sofa and fell into a state of relaxation whilst enjoying the program of great interest. Falling into a light sleep whilst watching television seemed most apparent and James’ eyelids had fully closed. Within a second of the word, “Adopted” being spoken, James immediately became fully awake and began to listen more intensely. The program continue as, “As the biological parents of these fascinating young lizards sadly passed away, they have been taken to the National Lizard Park in London; where they have been paired to a couple of adult lizards who will take on the role of acting as the lizards parents.”
James’ face became very pale as the terrible thought that his real parents might be dead crossed his mind. That would explain why the parents that he was living with were of different appearance to himself. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce the subject of adoption as his parents were also watching the program and it would not seem particularly random or odd to discuss the issue at this moment. However James could not bring himself to do so as he now had the even more terrifying thought that, if he was adopted, his biological parents could be dead. All night he lay awake hoping that if he was adopted, it was for a reason other than the death of his parents.
The very next morning he was insistent on knowing if his parent were still alive.