Sandra Kraling ’22, member of the Girls Soccer COE, is a new student here at SSM. She comes from Rochester, Minnesota. The one thing that you may not know about Sandra, is that she has not lived in Minnesota for her whole life. She was adopted at the age of two from Guatemala.
“As a kid, I got weird looks as I look different from my parents… My parents would tell me that they would stare because I was beautiful. I always grew up with that, until I got older I realized how awful it was,” says Sandra. Physically Sandra does not look like her parents, which always raises questions. Sandra is very open about her story when these questions are asked.
Sandra does not remember anything about being adopted at age two. She only knows details from pictures and stories told by her family. She was adopted with her sister, Carolina, by her parents and older brother, Brady. Sandra’s case is a closed case, meaning she does not know about her biological mother and father. She does, however, know that she has other siblings, “We don’t know where they are, but we do know one is in the United states, in Chicago, but I don’t know their name or gender.”
“I’ve always thought about finding my parents ever since I knew what adoption was. And it is a good and a bad thing to me because of course, I, like any other adopted child, would want to know answers, but at the same time because you don’t know the answers. There’s still that unknown. That you are afraid to find out the truth and what actually happened,” Sandra explains. “I wonder why and you don’t forget about it. It’s like ‘where do I come from?’ and thinking about my life would be so different… I am thankful for my mom making this decision,” says Sandra.
Through this whole journey, Sandra and her sister always had a strong connection; Sandra was her sister’s mother figure. The young sisters had a rough start when they first arrived, “We spent the first couple of nights crying. It was all new and we had no idea what was going on. But after a while we got used to everything, and our mother would speak Spanish to us, which helped.” Having an excited older brother helped Sandra and her sister adjust to the new environment, “When he first met us, he was super excited to play with us.”
When asked about the future of her own family, would she consider adopting, “I want to be able to give a child the same opportunities I got.”