If you had asked me a week ago who I was, I would've told you I am Ilyana Marie Meyers. Today is my 18th Birthday. I am the only daughter of Robert Meyers, a Jewish car salesman from New Jersey and Nancy Meyers, an Italian lawyer from Manhattan. I would tell you that I have a smaller version of my father's hooked nose, my mother's tan skin, courtesy of the long Florida summers, and a tall frame, the hazel eyes of my grandmother, and dark brown curls that are all my own. I would tell you that I am a B average student; when I sing, it resembles feral cats fighting. My best friend is my German Shepard Sasha. My room is always a mess, I make incredible homemade pasta and my main goal in life is to go to school and get a useless anthropology degree and purposefully get stranded on a tropical island with a tall, dark, and handsome stranger that likes to read, write, sleep in, and occasionally sunbathe.
But this is today and today my name is Ilyana Oksana Malakhova. I was adopted from an orphanage in Ukraine when I was three years old. I have no memories of who I really am or who I even was at that time. But I have been told that I was left in the dumpster of a gas station as a newborn, found by the owner and turned over to a tiny orphanage with too many children and not enough food or clothes. I was almost adopted numerous times by my first birthday, but every time someone came for me they backed out. On my third birthday a stranger came into the orphanage and told the workers to find any way they can to kill me, they told the workers that I was a bad omen, a danger to the world. They were terrified; one even tried to kill me in my sleep, but a single nurse took pity on me and immediately transferred me to an orphanage in Eastern Russia. A week later I was adopted by the people I call Mom and Dad. It wasn't until a week ago that I learned the story of who I was - or who I am.
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