My Family:
My “Real” Parents

by Cynthia Lou Moray Dalling

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    Dear Mom and Dad,

    These last two months at school have been tough living away from home. I miss you. You trained and brought me up well.

    I realize that you really had a hard time with me. I remember I was always bucking the system, doing the opposite of what you wanted. Now that I’m taking all these family living courses for my major, I realize that I didn’t turn out all that bad. The one main reason is that you cared about what happened to me. I realize now that you both never punished me without love.

    Mom, I am sorry for the times that, after you had spanked me with good reason, I told you that I hated you. I would write it on a piece of paper and then give it to you. I was just mad that I didn’t get my way, but I really did love you.

    Thanks for teaching me how to work and how to clean up after myself. I really was a slob and lazy when it came to picking up after myself, but now at college my room is clean, and I can’t stand a mess. I almost never helped with the yard work, but the rare times that I did you were always there helping too. It was fun. Even after you hurt your back, you were out pulling weeds. I really missed that this summer.

    When people ask me about my adoption, they always ask the questions. “Do you want to know or meet your real mother?” I tell them, “I already have.” You are my real mother. I would like to know more about my natural mother, but for “real” parents—you both are mine. I am so grateful for that woman who brought me into the world. As I grow and understand the gospel more, I believe that this is the way the Lord wanted it, and how we wanted it. We are a special family—three of us adopted, and a very special little brother. It is so important to have a family sealed like we were in the temple.

    One thing I like about our family is that we have always done things together. Remember the summer we went to the East Coast? Mom, you told stories about when you were a little girl and Grandpa took you back there. That summer was also the year after you hurt your back. In a way I was glad because I got the chance to pay you back in a way for everything you’ve done for me.

    My earliest memories always have you both in them—helping me tie my shoes, playing on the beach, playing games, camping and fishing. Remember when I caught my first fish? You had to put it on a stick so we could take my picture with it.

    Then as I got older and was in junior high, you came to those mini-gymnastics meets. You put my ribbons in my book and made me feel like somebody special. You always supported me in everything I did, driving me to and picking me up from play practice, or just being there when I got home.

    Then came high school! East was big and scary, but you told me I could do it, and if you knew I could then I could. You came to all my gymnastics meets. Then we would come home and talk about it. Mom, you didn’t get as nervous as Dad did when I was flying between bars or tumbling on the floor. But my favorite, the one that scared you both the most, was the vault.

    Now I am in college. I was excited to get to Ricks College. That last little bit before I left, you were there letting me cry on your shoulder and telling me things about when you were young.

    Thanks, Mom and Dad, for always being there when I needed you and even when I didn’t. You are great. I hope I can live my life the way you have taught me. I know I never really took all the chances that I have had to tell you how much I love you, but I really do love you a lot.

    Love,

    Your daughter

    Remember when I caught my first fish? You took my picture.

    Photo by David Quinney