Ethan Battani (2010)

Ethan Battani
August 20th, 2010

My name is Ethan and this is my 4th year at camp. Every year I look forward to this week. It’s a week of pure joy for me. I get to see all my friends and all the amazing counselors, but more importantly I get to be who I want to be. I get to be Korean. I get to be an adoptee. And I get to be a regular person.

Most of us are Korean and a lot of us are adopted. But it doesn’t mean we lack any of the personal characteristics of any Caucasian. We still have emotions, we still feel love, anger, jealousy, and embarrassment. We can miss people we’ve never met. We can love people we don’t remember seeing. And we can dream about people we don’t know. I’ve thought about my birth parents a lot this year. I’ve realized that I miss them, and I don’t remember seeing them. I love them and I have no memory of them. And I dream about them even when I don’t know what they’re like.

My adoption story is short. My father went to serve his two years, and he wanted to stay so he went to Australia to finish school and training. When he was there I was born. My mom and dad were young and not married. I was adopted within 4 months. My dad was more than likely not told about me at all. And almost positively my parents are not together any more.

This last year has been very difficult. And drama fills my life. But…I get SJC. You guys are my family. I want every week to be this week. I want every day to be these days. And every second I want to be here. This camp has changed my life. And I owe it my life.

When I’m here, I’m myself. I’m different, but in a good way. There’s no place I’d rather be, but here. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves and waking up to the crisp sun. This is what I live for, and why I live. I don’t want this place to ever die. So, please, I’m begging. Don’t let it die.