“I was born near Moscow and I was three-years-old when I was taken from my parents. Most people don’t have memories from that age, but I remember my father beating me and my mother. They both had problems with alcohol. I started running away when I was three and I remember wandering around starving. I was found one day eating a bulb of garlic I found in a garden. They didn’t take me home, as the neighbours were aware of the situation there. Just a few days after entering the orphanage I got so sick from fear and confusion that I was taken to the hospital. Orphanages were very poor back then, so often they kept children in the hospital as long as possible to save money. After a year of various hospitals, where I actually received no treatment, I was shifted out to a different orphanage. That’s when my walls came up and I shut myself off. For protection. My whole life I’ve lived by two principles: never trust anyone, and always have a plan b. That was until the volunteers from Ireland came when I was 14. The first people who showed us affection and love. I had never felt such support or had anyone believe in me before – it was a weird feeling. Slowly, I got used to it and created a normal life for myself, thanks to them. I have a husband and children now. It’s still hard to trust people, but for the first time, I finally feel like my life is in my own hands.”
This post was highlighted by To Children With Love.