Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Strength of One

One of the most memorable conversations I had on this trip was with a 19 year old girl who spent her whole life in Guangzhou SWI.

For a long time, she thought that life was hopeless. Her best friend was adopted around 11 yrs old. “They separated us, she was the only person I trusted, I relied on, and the only person in the whole world I cared about…My world turned upside down, I had nothing.” After her best friend left, she stopped talking, stopped smiling and her life stopped right there. It took her years to recover. She put all of her energy into her school. Now she is going to go to college and she reconnects with her best friend in the US. They talk to each other often via Skype. Each of them has their own life. But the bond they had never went away.

I asked her “Since you have lived there for 19 years, you must have very close relationships with the caregivers?” “Not really. They do take care of us when we are young. But we become very independent at an early age.” The life in the orphanage was hard. She used to take care of the older mean girls too. “The older girls always took advantage of me. I had to wash their clothes, get hot water for them, do their laundry and share my allowance with them.” Until director Xu came on board. Then life changed. They used to share a room with 12 people with only one fan in the hot summer days; now only 4 people in the room and they have air conditioning. “Director Xu always takes his time to talk to us. He asks us how’s school and life? He encourages us to talk to him whenever we feel like talking. He is such a great man!”

We gave her a ride and dropped her at the bus station. Watching her walking away, her short and pretty frame appeared stronger than ever. What she has been through made her a strong person, stronger than anybody I have ever known.

These kids are survivors. Their life has made them strong. Think of what potential they could have if given the chance to thrive with the love and resources a family can provide.

1 comment:

  1. we have adopted from china in 2007 and would like to adopt again but are considering an older child or special needs, what do we need to do from