Susan Burek

As Interviewed by Leticia Ortega, March 20. 2018

Susan Burek: In her own words

Susan Burek In Her Own Words
As interviewed by Leticia Ortega

My name is Sue Burek. I am 65 years old. I have always known that I was going to adopt, I just can’t explain why I knew it but I knew it.

I explored a lot of different ways I could adopt and when I was in graduate school, I had some roommates and some of them were from India and I noticed that the more I learned about their culture from India, I felt that there were a lot of interesting similarities to the culture I grew up with and I felt comfortable with the language and the culture so I decided to adopt from India.

Most of my family was supportive but my father was not. He was from a Catholic background and he felt like people were supposed to have babies the old fashion way and have biological babies and if you couldn’t do it that way, you weren’t supposed to adopt and he didn’t feel like adoption was a good thing for single parents but he changed his mind after he got to know Priya.

The process for me to adopt Priya took about 15 months and I finally went to India in February, 1998 to adopt Priya and I met her at her orphanage in India and we stayed there around three days.

Priya was two, three, four, and five when I adopted her because the orphanage said she was two but I knew from the American Social workers that they had met her before. They had gone to India and visit her before so they knew she was older than two so they told me she was probably three, maybe four and later on, after I adopted her, we found out that she might of been five. When I adopted her she only weigh about 25 pounds and the orphanage said she was two because she was around the size of a two year old but she was probably three, or four, or maybe five years old at that time. So we don’t know exactly, we just have to guess
After I adopted Priya the doctors did some medical tests and one of them is called bone age, were they take an X-ray of your hand. In a child when they do that, they can tell based upon how your bones look like, approximately how old you are and so the bone age test told me she was maybe three and a half or four and a half and so, we went ahead and said she was three and a half. But there’s something else in India, its basically the age that a child start school and in India, the children start school when they’re four. After I adopted Priya and we were here, I was showing her some books that she would have had if she gone to school in India and she recognized the letters and I said,
“You couldn’t recognize the letters because you didn’t go to school in India”
and she said,
“Yes mommy, I went to school in India”
and I said,
“If you went to school in India, write me this letters”.
And my little first grader knew how to write this letters and that meant that she probably had gone to school about a year and so that meant that maybe she was five when I adopted her. So, we don’t know exactly how old she was.