This I Believe

Robbie - 22205, Virginia
Entered on September 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, family

Sometimes it seems like it would take time to get used to something new. What if the old didn’t really do it for me? Today I am Robbie F. Years ago, I was Robbie J. It took losing the old for me to fully appreciate the new.

Up until I was six years old, when my sister Gina was born, my mom worked in the Foreign Service. In 1995, it was my first time actually living in the United States. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand. From there we moved to New Delhi, India. My early childhood years were spent in Quito, Ecuador. My birth dad’s name is Keith. When my mom, younger brother Zach, and I were living in Quito, Keith was only there with us for a short while. I didn’t really know him growing up until we moved back to the States. I remember visiting him from time to time but not really knowing him. Mostly what I remember is a white Jeep Wrangler with the radio on. The divorce didn’t really impact me very much because of how young I was and the fact that I didn’t really know my father the way other kids did.

My mom got remarried to Ed. I liked having him around but to me he was Mr. Ed until he adopted my brother Zach and me. I remember Keith saying, “It’ll be better this way.” That’s when I knew our visits to him were coming to an end. Having Ed as my dad turned out to be a wonderful thing. As a six year old it was confusing but I understood that Ed was a good person and he belonged in my life, completed the puzzle so to speak. Today I know Ed as Dad. He has only ever loved my brother and I like his own kids. Our family formed a new and improved unit when he adopted us. Today I live with my mom, dad (Ed), and my three siblings.

It’s not the best analogy but it’s like having an old backpack. You know it’s getting old but you’re not ready to use the new one yet. You like the new one but you want to keep holding onto the old one for as long as you can. It’s hard especially for a little kid to understand the situation. Once the old backpack breaks you come to fully appreciate the new one. It just fits perfectly into your life, even more perfectly than the old one did. It takes losing the old one to fully appreciate the new one.

My dad is a big part of my life. He supports me in what I do, gives good advice, and helps me out when I need it. He’s all the dad I could ever hope for and I love him for that. I believe that accepting the new after letting go of the old makes a big difference.