When I was a wee toddler, my family used to love asking me what my name was. I would reply defiantly, "I am Pimmie Annie Fota!"
I was adopted when I was six months old. Like a parakeet, I stared into mirrors at a young age. I wasn't searching for wrinkles or seeing if I had imperfections. I was looking for answers. I was looking for clues. I read too many Nancy Drew mysteries as a kid. I tried to figure out where my blue eyes came from. I wondered where I had gotten my thin upper lip. My ears perked up in biology class when we talked about Gregor Mendel and his theories about genes. I found no clues. I saw no answers.
I was an original. Raised by a village. German, Polish, American at its core. My genes are part of the story. This is the rest. This is the microphone I searched for all of my life.