This I Believe

Kate - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Strength and Courage Can Be Found Through Overcoming Trails

I was born in China, a third world country with a population of 1.3 billion, on

December 23, 1989. On December 30, 1989, the police found me in the streets of

Nanjing. Within a year, I was declared abandoned and placed into an orphanage

for children who are physically handicapped. I was born with a deformed right

hand, which makes it harder for kids like me to be adopted. When I was four, I

was starving myself to death by refusing to eat; my chances of survival were slim.

My caretaker risked her job to provide me the proper nurturing, so I could have a

second chance at life. It was not until later, that I found out had she not took me

under her wing, I would have been dead six months later the time my family had

planned to adopt me. Chance? No, it was the works of a miracle worker, a city of

angels watching over me. Because of her, I was able to live the American Dream.

I was an All-American Girl, I had friends, and family, but my life journey was

not a picnic ride. Starting school in a new country was difficult, because my English

was not very good, which prevented me from participating in certain classes that my

friends were able to take. This made me feel dumb, and that there was no use for

me to come to school, because I was not as “smart” as my friends. Also, I had to

take special education classes for children with learning disabilities.

Of course, that did not stop me from striving for my best.

Although it took eight years to be released from an Individual

Education Plan (IEP), I knew that I was ready for the challenges

that awaited me. In my freshman year of high school, I was

diagnosed with clinical depression; it was then that I knew I

needed my God more than anything in the world. Conquering

this depression was one of the most profound moments in my life.

I had found my strength in my God, and courage that had set me

free of suffering.

Now that I am a senior, I look back at all of my achievements

in high school, the Raider Award, which is given to one junior out of

the entire school, has been the most important. The award is given

to a student who has overcome many obstacles due to a physical or

mental disability, or is at a disadvantage, and is able to excel in both

academics, and social aspects of life. I for one can testify to that

statement being very accurate for me, as an individual.

I believe in how strength and courage can be found through

overcoming obstacles. They say that courage comes through pain

and suffering, in that one must learn to obtain character with having

learned from failure, which in return becomes success. This, I believe.