I believe having an optimistic outlook is one of the most important characteristics a person can have. This quality can give purpose to peoples’ lives and help guide them in the right direction to making successful and healthy choices. Having an optimistic attitude can help someone see all the wonderful results that can come about in a situation.
When my parents first informed me that they were about to begin the process to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia, halleluiah choruses were not exactly the first thing going through my mind. In fact, I was furious. I thought our family was perfect the way it was and I could not understand their need to destroy that perfection with the addition of some random kid. I was worried that by the time this new person joined our family, I would only have one year left at home before I left for college. While I was gone, this new person would be bonding with my family and I would not be there to be a part of it. Worst of all, with yet another child, I was afraid my parents would have less time and attention for me. I solely focused on how the adoption would negatively affect me.
My protests didn’t stop my parents, and soon enough my they announced that a six-year-old boy, James, would be very soon become a part of our family. A month later my parents traveled to Ethiopia to spend a week with James at his orphanage. When they came home, the stories and pictures they brought back gradually began to change my feelings and the way I was viewing the adoption. I saw in the pictures of the orphanage that my parents’ arms and laps were never empty, but constantly filled with children who remembered and desperately missed the touch and love of a parent. And that is when I decided to look at the situation with a positive attitude, and think of all the wonderful things that could come from this adoption.
Adopting James has been a miracle not only for him, but for my family as well. In America, James will be able to receive an outstanding education, and have the freedom and resources to pursue his goals. But most importantly, he now has a family, people who love and support him no matter what he struggles with or what problems he may face. He isn’t some random kid who joined our family; but a boy, my brother, who was given a second chance in life and new people to love and to be loved by. Looking at the adoption positively made the whole thing sound pretty amazing. Having an optimistic attitude has changed my life for the better because it has made me realize wonderful things can come from change.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.