We will introduce some works from the collection of works in past Oyako Day Essay contest.



I suddenly became the mother of a 10 year-old, American boy.
Not a blood relation, but a foster parent.

He was cute for the first month, but from there on, he plunged into rebellion.
He was difficult and emotionally unstable.
How many times did I think I should to stop being a foster parent?
When I thought of giving over my role to a social worker, the words stuck in my throat and I couldn’t go through with it.
Our mud-slinging went on for a half a year, till that fateful day: Mother’s Day.
He’d never called me mother.
As if that was reserved for the woman who had left him; because they shared the same blood and there was a special love or bond between them.
Who did he think I was, this person who didn’t even look like him?
The hired help who washed his dirty baseball uniforms? A teacher’s aide who tutored him late into the night? Or maybe just some complaining meddler.

The following morning, there were candles by the side of the bed spelling the word “family” that danced before my eyes. My foster son had gathered the candles beforehand and stealthily placed them by my bed while I slept at night.
Knowing nothing of weeping for joy, maybe he sought to escape any confusion.
Days later at his therapy session, he made a drawing. It was a picture of him, my husband and myself walking together. Looking at the letters through eyes blurred by tears I could see that “1, 2, 3: Family” was written on the drawing.

Eight months later, a distant relative took charge of him.
The fourteen months I spent with him were filled with intense up and downs.
What I most remember is finally overcoming his mistrust and the young boy I loved in the hope of restoring his childhood. The therapist told me that I was the only foster mother who had not abandoned him.
And then it was time for us to part. When I couldn’t find any words, he broke the silence by saying, “You’re my favorite.” After continuously refusing my hugs and signs of affection, he clung to me now with tears in his eyes.
We were parent and child.
Trials of emotion and perseverance had led him to look on me as a parent, a bond beyond blood and names.


Famale | America

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