Editor's Note: Hearing from teens who wish to share their experiences is a wonderful gift to adoptive families. But even more so, giving space to a child or young person to express, in their own words, what is in their heart and on their minds, sends an important message to them that they have a voice, and a right to be heard. More and more I am hearing about and from children as young as 10 years old who are doing amazing things like raising money for surgeries for orphans, sponsoring a drive to supply coats to their former orphanage, organizing a fundraiser to build a well for a village, and yes: writing about difficult and hard to hear realities of growing up outside of a loving, permanent family. What I am seeing and hearing about is young people going way beyong culture-camps and heritage tours. They are finding their voice, identities, and power in their own unique and magnificent ways. Today, Luz. B is sharing her story, and messsage, in her own words. These words may not be as 'politically correct' as we adults in the adoption community may desire..but they are her words, and I know that you will join me in saying: Well done, Luz! You are making a difference in the lives of other children.
I am Luz, I am 15 years old, and I was born in Colombia. My life in Colombia was difficult. My birth mother was 14 when I was born, and my birth father was in his 40s. My parents didn't care about me, and they hit me a lot. They used to fight in front of me all the time. I remember my birth father once picked up a broom and hit my birth mother. Other times, he'd punch her and pull her hair. I was so scared.
I was not allowed to go to school. My parents didn't feed me, and I remember that I was always hungry. Then one day, my birth mother took some drugs and almost died. I felt scared, lonely and I thought my life would end horribly.
I remember that I was 7 years old when the police came to my house and took me away from my birth parents. The police took me to a foster mother, where I lived for four long years before Kidsave rescued me.
Life in foster care was better than in my biological home. I had a school to go to, and a little more to eat. I met some kids who were really nice to me, but there were also kids who were scary, and sometimes hit me. I only had bread to take to school for lunch, so I was hungry and wished I had more food like the other kids did. When I was only eight years old, my foster parents left us alone in the house sometimes. I was in charge of the younger kids and it was difficult. We weren't allowed to play outside because the neighborhood wasn't safe. But I had a few friends in foster care and all of us came together and prayed to have a family. Some of us we were like brothers and sisters and wanted to have a good life with a family of our own to take care of us.
When I was 10, my life changed. In the summer of 2008, I came to Massachusetts with Kidsave's Summer Miracles program, where I met my parents and was adopted. I was nervous to come with Kidsave but I knew this was my moment to get a family. Having a family is the most wonderful thing that you can ever have. My family is always there for me and will always care about me. I now feel safe and loved, for the first time in my life. Now I had a wonderful life with my new friends and my family who support me. I am glad I was adopted because if I wasn't, I think that I would have ended up in the street. Now I'm looking forward to the future to go to college. And to someday have a family of my own.
Last year my parents and I hosted with Kidsave. We met my future sister, Maria. We are now adopting her and we are glad we are going to have a new member of our family.
Kidsave needs your help to continue to help other kids. So many other kids need families too. Every kid deserves a family and a better life.
Thank you for considering hosting to help Kidsave find families for other older kids.
View Article: What is Orphan Hosting? to learn about hosting a child during a winter or summer holiday break, and find a list of Orphan Hosting Programs in the USA