I gave a speech a few weeks ago, with a very generalized idea about the abuse and rape I experienced, as well as my feelings since then. I don't know if this is the right place to post it, please let me know... but until then... The following is my speech. Adoption and Child Abuse When you hear the word adoption, what’s the first thing you think of? Two loving individuals taking the time to love and raise a child who much needs the care or perhaps you envision those children being adopted from orphanages from other countries where the adoptive parents are rescuing them from disease or even death. Hello, I’m Deanna, and I’m here to tell you about my personal experiences and to show you that while not common there is a limited number of adoptions that are not all fairytales and dreams come true. I was three years old when my parents told me that I had been adopted. Most children at that age adjust quickly when being told at young ages, yet I didn’t adjust, I couldn’t. Instead I stopped speaking for a year. You see, life had always been different for me. I have three older sisters, that I adored, but even more, I truly envied them. They didn’t have to wake up afraid every day or night. They didn’t have to assume positions that a child should never have to know about. For many years I wondered why it was my job to please my father. Some days he’d use me as a target to see how close he could throw the knives at me without actually hurting me. Other days I would be his kickboxing dummy. However there was one thing that was a constant in my life at night. Every night I became the only thing that could satisfy his sexual needs and desires. My mother told me in junior high, that the reason I had been adopted was so my father could have his needs filled without having to subject my sisters to it. Basically, I was supposed to be his sex toy. I’ve been asked how I’ve made it through all of the abuse. The truth is, I am lucky. My first suicide attempt was when I was four, and I had several more as I was growing up. However, between my faith, and the blessings I was given through friendships and special family members, I managed to make it. Yet every day I have to “Make It” all over again. As an adult, I know that children are unlikely for me, and anger is a constant issue. I have some physical challenges because of the abuse, I use the wheelchair and have been diagnosed with Bipolar as well as Post Traumatic Stress, but I know I can use all of this to my advantage. I know it’s my destiny and have made it my goal in life to help prevent this and other abuse from happening to other kids. My long term goal is to get a Masters in Social Work and use it to help protect the precious gifts we are given. The gifts we call children.