A Teenage Adoptee Who Knows He is a "Diamond In The Rough"

Sometimes I write articles and send them out in to the blogosphere/ecosphere/your monkey-sphere, and don't ever have the great fortune of hearing the impact of my words. Today was not one of such days.

Last year, I was published in the book Dear Wonderful You: Letters To Adopted & Fostered Youth (for which Bryan created this beautiful book trailer). I wrote a chapter in a letter format to an invisible reader. It was my dream that my letter would make its way into the hands of an adoptee, a teenager, a youth who would lay under the stars, reading my words and feel a sense of a hope realized, the way in which only another adoptee can provide. What a joy it was for me to read 14 year old, Gabriel's book review in the newest edition of PACT magazine. These are his words:

It’s clear that Ms. Diane René Christian & Ms. Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman put their blood, sweat and tears into this book. In the dedication, the editors make it clear that they would like this work to be one that the reader cherishes, shares, and passes on to the next generation. They hope that it will educate and inspire the reader, and that the reader will find some kind of solace and comfort within the pages of this book. Although the title of the book says, “Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth,” this is a book from which anyone can read and gain understanding and insight.

The book is set up in a series of 28 chapters, and each chapter is written by a different author. The letters contain all kinds of experiences, observations, and inspirations. Some are happy, some are sad, and all of them show love and compassion towards the reader.This is a book that can be skimmed through to find letters that really resonate with you, or read cover-to-cover to get to know and understand every author.

The letter that really resonated with me is the one by Angela Tucker, which seemed like it was reassuring me, as opposed to sharing a story. The fact that it was mainly focused on me, as the reader, made the letter feel more caring. Angela Tucker’s reference to me as a “diamond in the rough” made it easy to picture what she was trying to express, and it made me feel important in a way that few pieces of writing have ever done.

“Although you shine wherever you go, you are also fragile - just like a crystal. The fragility of crystals is not a weakness. The sparkle of a diamond is not an invitation to steal. Your glimmering radiance does not entitle others to question you about where your sparkle came from.”

I would recommend this book to anyone, youth or adult, who is interested in understanding the many and varied life experiences of adopted and fostered youth. Each letter may not resonate with you, but I am sure that something in this book will touch your heart.

Gabriel - I am so glad to know that you were that invisible person to which my letter was intended.