The children are hungry. They always need food. They ask for food but the caregivers tell them they don't need anymore, that they have had enough. I know it's not true. Where I lived there was food, but they often took it away. It took so long to feed the weak children and they didn't want to be bothered by us. When I asked them why, they told me it was none of my business. Often food would be thrown in the toilet or taken to their own homes.
I know God sees this and knows it isn't right. I want to share with the world what really happens inside of many institutions because once, I couldn't find anyone to help me. I couldn't share my hurts with people who knew and could do something about it.
My friend Lena, who was very sick with hydrocephaly laid beside me. Before she died, she and I talked a lot about what to do to help but we didn't know and we were helpless. We wanted to help the other children but we couldn't even move ourselves. I know there must be other children who were feeling the same way.
|Nikita (died in 2006)|
One day Lena's biological parents came to visit and they asked about the bruises on our bodies. The caregivers said that they weren't anything for them to worry about and tried to shut them up. I remember being so tired but I spoke up right then and said, "That's not true. They beat us." Lena's mom was standing beside me with big eyes, unable to believe what she was hearing. The caregiver explained that I always lie and not to believe me. I could tell Lena's mom believed me but she couldn't really help us. She was just a poor woman without power and the caregiver knew it.
I remember her mom being so surprised that we were so strong to speak like that. I think it was my will to live. I didn't want to die. Now, I know it was God in me that wouldn't let me give up.
The other day I had a dream that I went back to Ukraine with my adopted family. I don't know how that happened but it was a dream, so I guess anything can happen in a dream. I was visiting the old institution and the caregivers told me not to worry about the kids. I told them, "They are not fine!" The caregivers were trying to hide information. I saw a boy with dried blood on his face and I told them I saw it. They said back to me, "You never stop. You are a liar." I was so angry in the dream and right then my mom stood up and said, "I know what you did to Lucia." They continued lying to my mom and telling her that they loved on me. I was crying so hard and they accused me of pretending. Inside I felt such a sharp pain. If I could, I would adopt all of the kids because I am just so tired of them being hurt by people who are supposed to care for them.
I realize that the way I see people now is different than how I saw them before. I used to see grown ups as mean or angry. Now I understand that people can be beautiful and kind. I see that my mom stands up for me. She isn't at all like I thought she would be. I thought I would come here and lay in the bed and do nothing but none of what they told me was going to happen to me, has happened. Mom says we don't always have the answers about why this happened but God will tell me one day and that is good. I want so much for the children left behind to know it is not their fault and God will one day show them everything too.
I feel myself sharing more and more about my past. When you are told you are a liar all of the time, you learn to stay quiet. But staying quiet doesn't help adoptive families understand their children and it doesn't help the children left behind.
I hope the things I share here don't just make you sad, but help you realize what truly happens to orphans. It is hard to hear, but even harder to live it. Maybe together with God we can make a difference in the world.
The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From his dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions them all, He who understands all their works.
Love is in the Light,