I will never know what it’s like to be an orphan—thanks Mom!
The stories I’ve heard at length or in pieces here and there throughout my time in the school and on the orphanage grounds have been nothing short of heartbreaking. Here, I exist among these wonderful little boys and young adults, and the longer I’m here, the more I learn about their lives. Some of them are full orphans, but many of them are half-orphans or have families that cannot financially support them. Considering when it’s like to grow up in an orphanage, it’s sad to think that the parents thought the best option was to place their child into the care of this messy institution.
Because, I don’t know, perhaps it’s important to share something like this, here are some of the stories, some of the things I’ve heard shared in my time at the orphanage in the last three months. I think it’s anonymous enough, while at the same time gets the point across. Some of this stuff I’ve overheard, some I’ve learned from other teachers, and some, the boys have shared with me. For the most part, when I talk to them, they open up. They only appear to be closed off. They are willing to share, and so, I share a piece of them with you, to bring you one step closer to their world, to assist in continuing to recognize our shared humanity.
“Before my father died, he hit me over the head with a machete.”
“My sister was adopted. I don’t know where she is.”
“I love my brother, but he never comes to see me.”
“This is a picture of my father. Don’t show the other boys, they’ll tease me.”
“If I could have anything in the world, I would have my whole family live together again.”
“My father came to visit me once, three years ago.”
“The staff worked hard to get me adopted, but here I am…”
“My adoptive mother decided I was too much to handle when I was five, so she dropped me off in front of the orphanage with a bag of dirty clothes. I chased the car all the way down the street, crying.”
“My mother is mental, the other boys tease me for it. I don’t like when she visits me.”
“I tell people that my father took me on a fun trip to Brazil, but it’s a lie. I haven’t seen him in years. I lived on the streets before coming here.”