I believe

Justin - West Linn, Oregon
Entered on May 28, 2008

I Believe…

In this world, I believe everybody makes mistakes and will continue to do so everyday day of their life. I have always been taught then when you make a mistake, or wrong somebody, that you should show remorse and then figure out how you can make the situation better. How you do this shows what kind of person you are and what kind of character you really have. This is the process of handling adversity. Adversity is a lesson I learned at a fairly young age. I first learned it in sports. “When something unfortunate happens to your team, just think what you can do to help the situation and how can you do it.” This is what my dad would always tell me. He taught many life lessons through other things (in this case, sports). I believe adversity is the best test in how you are going to be in life and in the real world. I believe nothing is ever going to be handed to you. When things are handed to you, you learn to relax on life and forget what your purpose is and why you’re her. You must work for everything. I believe hard work is what makes your values and ethic which sets you up for a successful life.

My family and I can attest to adversity. I believe how you handle adversity and the uncomfortable situation you are placed in can work for or against you. How we handle and respond to adversity is the true test of character. This type of character test determines how you are going to handle life situations in the real world. Handling adversity is something that I am very experienced with and is something that I can help others handle around me.

When I was twelve years old my parents adopted my sister, Maria, from Romania. At the time of adoption, she was four years old. When she first arrived with us we found that she has numerous emotional problems and attachment disorders. The most severe one that sticks out is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), which causes her to not want to become emotionally attached to anyone including myself, my brothers, and my parents. This is the effect of receiving no physical attention when she was an infant. During those first four years of her life she would cry and cry in her little crib with multiple babies in it, yet nobody would ever come to comfort. Because of this, she learned to no longer cry. In addition to this, lack of bonding has many learning disabilities as well.

Maria’s situation was never disclosed to us and resulted in an enormous amount of adversity to our family. We really had to come together as a family to deal with these unexpected circumstances. For months and years we tried to cure her with therapeutic exercises and psychological teachings. A lot of the burden was put on my mother and she worked and still works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. My parents and family has gone through so much and done everything you can think of to help my sister overcomes her disabilities. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless doctors, she still struggles to this day.

I continue to get stronger as a person every day from this still present experience. Day in and day out, adversity hits me and my family, but I’ve learned to handle it and accept it as a blessing in life. If anyone sees how my parents, especially my mother, handle my sister’s situation, it would undoubtedly be a direct inspiration of service and faith. I have learned how to have faith and to handle difficult times in my life. When I’m out in public I am able to handle adverse situations when they arise. I am able to respond in a calm and mature manner. All I have to do is think of my sister’s harsh and unfair beginning in life and it helps me to keep everything else in perspective. In life we are always going into or out of adversity. I’ve learned to welcome it as an opportunity to grow as a person. I’m growing up every time I come to deal with life’s challenges. Now, when I run into adversity I think of it as an opportunity to keep growing.