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Dear Diary,

I’ve never been adopted for two and a half years.

When someone comes to adopt, I’ve always been hopeful, holding my breath, my eyes lingering at them for longer than a minute. After a few times, I’ve been optimistic. After that, I lost my hope. I’ve always wondered why no one would swing by and say, β€œThis little one is so lovely!”

Well, I’m eleven now. I’ve been adopted by kind parents, and that’s all it matters. Also, since I’m eleven, I know why I wasn’t adopted for a long time. I’ve got cerebral palsy, and I’m stuck sitting in a wheelchair for the rest of my life (I think? I’m really not so sure). My parents tried making me walk, but it was like making a horse skateboard. My leg drags a little, and my brain is messed up. My whole body is messed up.

I used to keep asking my mom why my biological mom left me in the dump (a.k.a., the orphanage). She always said she didn’t know. It hurts thinking that she might’ve left me because of my disability. Maybe she’s out there somewhere, bearing another child that’s normal. It hurts even more that she probably forgot about me, possibly not regretting any moment of it. It hurts to even think about my mother, not even knowing what her hair color is (maybe dark brown, like mine). How could I possibly know?

Maybe my mom isn’t the one who left me in the dump. Maybe my mom died a little after I was born, and my dad didn’t know what to do with me. Maybe my dad was the one who convinced my mother to put me in the orphanage. Any scenario was possible.

I knew better than to tell my mother that I was messed up, that I belonged in the trash like everyone tells me. She would always say, more like declare, β€œAlice. Stop. You may have a physical disability, but your mind is strong. You are the sweetest child I have ever met. You are a true star. You know what they say. Don’t just watch the stars shine. Be a star, and shine brighter.”

Yeah, like anyone would think I’m a star. You should see me eat. I don’t usually spit, but when I get nervous, my body takes control. I spit. I cough. I choke. And you should see me talk. I squeeze my lips together and squash my cheeks into a weird position. That’s how I concentrate. My brain must hate me because it messes with my speech too. I sometimes talk really fast, and sometimes really slow. If I were to be a star, it would be brown and mushy and dull. Not shiny at all. I would never be able to shine. Why? Because I’m not normal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Today, I went to school like any other day. I guess my mom is scared that I’ll faint or something when I’m in school, so she drops me off in my classroom. In my old school, there was a special class for kids like that, but in this stupid school, everyone with special disabilities was put in random classes. That’s because the school was kind of low on money, and no teachers wanted to work with us dumb kids, I guess.

I sometimes make shrieking noises during class, and it’s really embarrassing. Some people complain, saying they can’t concentrate because of me. Others keep quiet, staring away. Some cover their mouths to try not to laugh. The ones I hate most are the ones that glare at me. Now that really makes me feel bad. Even the people that cry, β€œAlice! Shut up!” isn’t that bad compared to them.

The teacher, Mrs. Morris, is real nice. She doesn’t care if I drool or squint or kick. She keeps teaching as if she’s taught a classroom of monkeys before. She lets me read at recess and lunch, because heck, I love reading. I can’t hold a book straight or even turn the page, so she bought audiobooks and let me listen to them. I listen to the tune of the voice of the reader. She, sometimes he, makes funny noises for each character, like β€œOuch” or β€œBam”. I learned later on those were called something like onomatopoeia. Why make it such a hard word??! Still, it’s fun.

Another reason why I read during lunch and recess is because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of hearing the word β€œfreak” over and over, I’m afraid of everyone staring at me, and I’m afraid of the whispering and the gossips about me on the playground. They stare at me like I’m a zombie wearing a lot of makeup that juggles flutes. That would be wayyyy more interesting, don’t you think? As long as the zombie was nice. A protagonist. Another word I learned.

I also really hate the people staring at me with pity eyes. I wanted to feel brave. But I was just a deformed turtle stuck inside a shell. That’s what my mom says. Except for the deformed part.

Speaking of β€œdeformed,” my mom has never, ever, ever, called me deformed in my life. She never said I was messed up, or born imperfect. So did my dad. My dad calls me Star, saying I’m beautiful and deserves to twinkle above all the city lights. Okay, he can be cheesy sometimes. But that phrase was beautiful to me. I just didn’t know how. How do I shine when everyone thinks I’m a soggy piece of grape that lies on the ground? How do I shine when everyone thinks I’m a dirty handkerchief that is covered with tears and snot? How do I shine when I’m not normal?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had gone through my mom’s words all the time. I felt like I needed to hear them again. It really isn’t easy when you’re eleven.

Mom always knows when I need something, so I eyed her until she noticed.

She did. β€œWhat is it, sweetheart?” she asked softly. She turned off the TV. β€œBathroom break?”

I shook my head.

Like I said earlier, I could still talk. Some people with cerebral palsy can’t talk at all, which sucks. But I talk fast and spit most of the time. β€œI need help.” It comes out so quiet, I didn’t know if she heard.

Again, she did. β€œRough time at school?”

How’d she know? β€œMore than that.” My voice was muffled and unclear, but I kept going. β€œEverywhere.”

She looked a bit confused, so I bit my lip hard and tried not to let a tear fall. β€œI want to be normal.” I looked down. β€œI don’t know how to shine.”

She finally understood. Her eyebrows lifted a bit, and then fell. Gently touching my shoulder, she whispered, β€œYou already are shining. Going out in public in your wheelchair is tough. You need to go through all those different looks, you need to avoid and let the laughs not get to you.” She paused, letting it sink down in my brain. β€œHoney, I really know you are having difficult times, but look how far you’ve gotten. You’ve never missed a day of school. You’ve never asked to stay home. You’ve never cared about people watching you eat.”

β€œWell, I do.”

β€œYou’ve shown everyone who you are; you’ve held your head up high.”

β€œNot really—”

She interrupted me. β€œYou’ve grown so much, Alice.” A tear fell out of one eye. My heart pounded, letting my lips quiver up and down as my vision got blurry from the tears. β€œI’m so lucky to be your mother.”

β€œI’m so lucky I’m your daughter.”

β€œNow,” she said. β€œYou understand what I mean by shining? You aren’t a star because you are normal. You aren’t a star because you are perfect. No one is. You are a star because you are… you. You are amazing, kind, and you are the brightest. You try your best to succeed, and again, you lift your head up high. You are brave and compassionate. That’s what makes you a star. A wonderful one.”

β€œI get it.”

β€œI know you do.” She kissed my forehead.

I let the words echo inside my soul before I started to doze in my wheelchair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Diary, I’ve decided to name you Star. Even though Dad calls me that, I’ve already got a name. It’s Alice. Alice Blue. And it seems so not formal to call you Diary over and over. I think I should name you Star, just the way my mom named me Alice. I love you, and I will treasure you forever.



β€œYou’re a shining star, no matter who you are. Shining bright to see, what you can truly be.”



"Shine bright, be yourself."



"Shine bright like a diamond

We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky."


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52 comments

V.s. Nilanee
14:33 Jun 11, 2020

Wow, what a beautiful story! As someone with CP myself (although much milder than your main character's), I can empathize a lot with the main character, as I have seen and interacted with people who have a lot of the behavioral tics you describe, and you're right, having a loving family who believes in you makes all the difference! Kudos to you for nailing such a difficult subject!

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Thank you! Having a caring family who loves you and believes in you really can make a difference! I'm so glad that you read my story! Again, thank you so much!

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17:40 Jun 10, 2020

very well written!Truly commendable

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James Corporon
00:28 Jun 10, 2020

Very nice story. β™₯

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Rhondalise Mitza
23:40 Jun 05, 2020

Hey, Kendra! I liked this story. :) I think the fact that Alice didn't think she could shine because she wasn't "normal" was pounded a little hard, but other than that it was strung along nicely. Have you read Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper? The main character is a girl with CP and it's very insightful. I haven't heard of people with CP howling before though... but I haven't met everyone with cerebral palsy either so I'm sure there are varying cases. I love that Alice was your main character. For the last line, though, and this is just an i...

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Thanks so much for taking the time to write your feedback! And yes, I've read Out of My Mind. It's such a great book! I've actually never thought about the connection while I was writing, but I can relate my story to that book. And the howling part, I really should change my word choice. Perhaps shrieking? I love that song, Diamonds! I would love to add it to my story. Thanks for the suggestion! And no worries, the more feedback, the better. Thanks for making my day! And also, your welcome, your stories are beautiful πŸ’• Have a lovely day!

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:33 Jun 06, 2020

yay, thanks! I think shrieking would be a better word too, though. Howling makes it sound like Tourette's, maybe? I'm happy you've read the book too.

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I just edited my submission! Yes, howling does sound like Tourette's. I'm a book lover, I'm a song lover! Thanks so much, Rhondalise. Have a lovely day! πŸ’–

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Rhondalise Mitza
01:04 Jun 06, 2020

You too!

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Nirosha P
08:30 Jul 22, 2020

I's so beautiful! I love your ending. :)

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Ola Hotchpotch
17:13 Jul 05, 2020

It's a beautiful heart touching story. Sometimes disability is not so much physical or psychological. It's also a feeling that somehow you are made to feel separate.

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Joseph Varkis
13:16 Jul 03, 2020

Beyond words. Felt like I was in the little girl's shoes. Really struck a note.

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Aw, this is very meaningful. Thank you 😊

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Veena Parmar
22:43 Jun 24, 2020

Hi, a truly uplifting story about courage, love, acceptance, support and much more. Everyone has the ability to shine in some way! Someone out there will see you sparkle in the dark! Well done!

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Thank you! What a heartwarming comment 😊

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Scott Smock
12:21 Jun 17, 2020

A beautiful treatment of an unfair subject.

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Batool Hussain
10:14 Jun 13, 2020

Hey Kendra, such a beautifully crafted story this is . Everything well in place ! I was going through various stories of yours and each of them are unique at their own place. Bravo! Also, will you mind checking my recent story out? thanks:)

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I appreciate your comment, thanks! Of course! I would absolutely read your stories! Can't wait :)

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Aparna Jagannath
03:06 Jun 13, 2020

What a wonderful, inspirational story! Simply Awesome. Please keep writing. I actually had tears in my eyes. Brilliant.

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This is wonderful to hear, thank you so, so much! πŸ’—

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D. Holmes
02:36 Jun 13, 2020

I loved the star metaphor! We need more stories about difficult subjects like this, and you did a lovely job. It reminded me of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.

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Thank you so much! I actually did think about that, because of the difficult things he had faced in his life. I could really relate to that book :) Again, thank you!

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Writers Block
18:52 Jun 12, 2020

Beautiful story!

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Writers Block
21:00 Jun 12, 2020

You are welcome

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Lori Colt
21:53 Jun 09, 2020

Beautiful. You have a knack for taking on interesting subjects. Nicely done. Every child with those types of challenges should be so lucky.

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Yes, I totally agree. Thank you so much!

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J C
15:36 Jun 09, 2020

Beautiful to read, and really flows well.

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Corey Melin
01:38 Jun 08, 2020

Very good story. Tugged at my heart. A story that can bring out your emotions I believe is a successful read.

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Thank you so much! Glad you thought so :)

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03:55 Jun 07, 2020

Wow...great story Kendra! I totally loved this story! It's so touching and a great motivational story! Take care and have a great weekend! ❀️️

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Thanks a lot for the warm comment. Be safe! 😊

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15:17 Jun 07, 2020

You too!❀️️

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Roland Aucoin
21:47 Jun 05, 2020

A wonderful story. To read of the dark inside a challenged person 'erupt' into the beauty that each is is simply wonderful. Thank you for your story.

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Sofia Davis
20:29 Jun 05, 2020

Cute story. Lovely ending, great work! I give Alice my best ~

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Sofia Davis
20:31 Jun 05, 2020

No prob!

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Sarah Noel
18:44 Jul 28, 2020

Ironic I see this story a few months after I read "Out of my Mind". This story reminds me a lot of it and reading and learning about CP has really changed my point of view. In our school there were a lot of special ed kids, and I'm not really sure how I viewed them. Usually with pity, but sometimes I would see kids laugh when a specal ed shouted out or did something weird and, I would too. I'm not the most sympathetic person in the world, but I try to be. Sometimes its hard and you just wanna laugh at them, take the easy way out. But I alway...

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Wow, me too! I'm glad you also saw it that way! Thank you very much for reading!

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Sarah Noel
00:50 Jul 29, 2020

You're welcome

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