On My Own
What could be more difficult than not having a family to call your own? As if growing up with a single parent wasn’t hard enough, feeling all alone in the earliest and most important formative years of your youth is a challenge that not many of us could even begin to imagine.
Sadly, UNICEF estimates that there are some 132 million children across the world growing up as orphans, though only 13 million are believed to be living without any family members.
Regardless, there is an orphan crisis in the world, and far too many of these don’t turn into happy endings, despite the popular plight of famous literary and cinematographic orphans like Oliver, Annie, or Anastasia. In the real world, millions of these orphans are nameless, faceless, and completely anonymous, even to those around them.
While programs exist to get orphans into safe and supportive families or homes, not all of them get adopted after doing their time in the foster cycle. These are their stories.
These adult orphans are still looking for a home.
All the Wrong Reasons
I was in foster care, but was never adopted. I was taken away from my biological family at a young age, and from then on I only met them by appointment on a weekly basis for about an hour under supervision. I went from home to home being told directly that “you are only here because you make us money” and “if you were my real son, you’d be treated differently.” When I would misbehave, my foster parents would threaten to “call the agency” and return me like some sort of defective product. During the summer time, I was sent to camp so they can “get a break from me” and spend alone time with their biological children. It took a mental toll on me and I lived in constant fear. The people I was surrounded with in my foster homes made be believe that anybody that interacted with me wanted to use me and that led me to withdraw from everybody and isolate myself to be on the safe side. I really only felt at “home” when I was in school.
Things are better now, I am working on my PhD and am trying my very best to build healthy relationships with people, but it is extremely hard to open up when I’ve been hurt so much. When I see stray cats on the street that don’t trust me to feed them, I feel I have a deeper understanding of why they act the way they do. My walk of life has taught me that all things are transient, but the best feeling that I’ve ever felt is love. If you have any children, give them a big hug and tell them you love them, it means more than you would ever know. (shinjo101788)
Blood Doesn’t Make Family
So I was never adopted. Grew up in 4 different gov homes and then was going to be kicked when I turned 18. I was in school and the military was always showing up doing those recruiting booths. I joined the Air Force and have been in 19 years now. Found my own family and really proved the phrase “blood doesn’t make family”. I have been to 7 continents and over 2 dozen countries. I have to tell you retirement is scarier than those days as a kid…. (Lg17)