I was born with paralyzed vocal cords. I had no sound. The doctors told my mother that I came out this way due to no fault of hers, it was just something that happens sometimes. I had to spend the first three months of my life in the nicu and my mother went home with books to learn sign language as that would be the only way she would be able to communicate with her newest daughter. My grandmother prayed day and night for Jehovah to give her granddaughter a voice. One day without warning that prayer was answered. My grandmother told me that the first sounds she heard from me was a soft hum. She cried and thanked Jehovah that hear little grand daughter had sound. The doctors did not expect that to happen because it usually doesn’t. My vocal cords are still partially paralyzed today giving me the sweet raspy sound yall are all used to. For years I have wondered why I was given my voice back. I can sing a little but I’m far from being a singer. What is it that this voice is to be used for? 44 years into this life and I think I have figured it out. I think I am to speak on the things no one wants to talk about. I am to speak on the family secretes that we all keep. I am to speak on the family secretes that weigh us all down creating inauthentic connections, distrust and fear. I believe this is why my grandmother’s prayers were answered.
After being in several foster homes all I wanted more than anything in the world was a family of my own. I knew about my mother and my big brother and big sister. I wished for them all the time. Then it became clear to me that I would never go back to them for good. I just wanted a to belong in a family that loved and wanted me. I would have given anything for that and I did. Family secrets destroy honest, authentic family connections. My entire childhood was filled with family secrets that I had too keep in order to not ruin the family I had waited so long for. It was clear to me that this would be as good as it would ever get for me and I needed to make the best of it.