Orphinige kids been mean to me. They told me don’t go to Amarica. Kids from orphinge say that Amarican family take away my organs. I never believe that because that’s my family. [They’re] not going to take away my organs. But kids say mean things to me, like how I am ugly they also say about my sisters and brother that they [are] not real. And I know I never believe that because I love my family. I knew that I am going to be adopted by Amarican family. They cut my hair very short and they been mean to me because everybody say that I am so angry but really I am not angry.
[The first time I met Emily, in December of 2005, she had shoulder length hair. When we returned for our first official visit in June of 2006, her hair had been cut short by workers at the orphanage. She also had several bald splotches about the size of a fist where kids had pulled out hair while fighting with her. I am confident that Emily was not the only one with bald splotches. Orphanage workers didn’t like Emily, who they considered to be a trouble maker like her mother, whom they also raised. They often called Emily ugly, told her she looked like her mother and often called her by her mother’s name to the point that even Emily considered it an insult. In this setting, hate bred hate. The more they hated Emily, the more she hated them. The more they hated her, the more she misbehaved. The more she misbehaved, the more they tormented her. The more they tormented her, the more she hated them. And so it went. With the kids it was different. Emily was in an orphanage reserved for kids that the system decided had behavioral problems. They kids were not well behaved or nice, but at least Emily was “one of them.” That is, until she was going to be adopted. Imagine the pain of these other orphans! Emily would get a family. They wouldn’t. They did everything they could to try to talk her out of leaving. They told her that people in America would kill her so they could sell her organs. They told her that her younger siblings that we had adopted (whom she had never met) were not real, but that we were using them as bait to get her to come with us so we could sell her organs. The more pain that the other orphans felt about her being adopted and them, not, the more she wasn’t a part of her peers. That caused her to hate them more and to mock them and boast that she would have a family while they would “rot” in the orphanage. Another vicious hate circle spiraled downward. During that time Emily felt like she only had one friend in the world.]
Sometimes I feel it’s not OK say about me like they say how I am so angry. When I came to Amarica I was be happy but I have hard time like try to kill myself or threaten other people or [other behaviors that really don’t need to be included]. I know that wrong. But my Dad Amarican he said don’t do this because my Amarican family care about me. Sometimes it’s way [sic] be nice to everybody. But in Russia if I stay and don’t go to Amarica then I will probably die. [Life expectancy for a person who ages out of a Russian or Eastern European orphanage is about thirty years old.] It’s [it was] hard for me to focus that I will [would] be OK. I know [knew] what happened in the past when I am in the orphinige and when I am in Mama Oksana’s house [her mother in Russia].
I want help others and help myself. Also it’s not OK be bad. Sometimes the kids in the orphinige, they swear. [Sometimes, in America, Emily’s dad swears, too.] Also we put on fight like kids all the time fight. I really don’t like it. Because of it I knew my family awesome. All the time I want help to kids like shelter, food, water, support.
[I find it interesting that Emily’s blogs are constantly returning to this theme of helping kids with food, water and shelter. This is what the orphanage gave the children when they were taken away from abusive and neglectful first families. In our family, our focus to help orphans has been to try to provide assistance for when they age out of “systems.” To me, as a world, we are doing pretty well at providing kids the basic necessities of life. Where we are failing is helping them to become successful adults. Then, they have children who turn up as social orphans in orphanages or other types of “systems.” Until we can help social and other orphans to transition into successful adults, the orphan problem isn’t going away. If you want to help us, please make a donation to our family charity, Ele Lembra. I assure you, that’s a place where our family spends money. It’s not income! Here’s the link: http://elelembra.org/programs/program-chance/]
I been mean to the orphinge staff and hit them all the time. I really don’t care about it. Sometimes I got so mad because they treat me with not respect or caring. I remember that when my family pick me up from orphinige then I have ripped shoes. When I have it on, when I wear it. Sometimes I feel sad and not OK. [The clothes that Emily and the others had at this orphanage were pretty worn and she felt badly about that.]
But sometimes I been mean to kids back over then over [sometimes she returned meanness to the other orphans] but I get in big trouble all the time, but some kids not get in trouble at all. I always get trouble but other kids from orphinige always not get trouble but I got so mad about it. Kids keep telling me don’t go to Amarica because your life going to be horrible to you and don’t go at all to Amarica because they will send your organs to people. But I never believe them at all. I do care about Amarican people a lot. Kids from orphinige they told me about my sisters and they don’t love you at all, or my brothers, either.
When I been waiting for my family come back to me [American parents return to finalize the adoption] I know that I am going to Amarica with them. My Amarican family give me pictures of them about my sisters and brothers and I never give up on them because I love my family forever all the time.
[As angry as I am about how Emily was treated during that time in her life, my heart goes out to orphans who would be left behind; without a chance. I am horrified by the pain and fear they had to have felt. Nothing in my life has affected me more than children who are left to systems, and after, to the brutal world. It makes no difference to me whether these children are in Russia, Africa, in the foster system of the United States or anywhere else. I have never felt more impotent at solving any problem in my life. People, Friends, somehow we need to do better. There need to be more Emilys and less who are ignored. Please help us to reduce the orphan crisis in the next generation.]
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