Never Give Up

You are never alone. Life is full of hope. Never give up.

I was born in Bryansk, Russia.

I was adopted a week before my eighthh birthday.

Prior to my adoption, I lived in a family that loved me, but absolutely hated each other. The household was made up entirely of women. I loved it.

However, things took a different turn when both of my parents passed away. I was three years old. It was hard.

Under the given circumstances, I was forced to live in an orphanage. It was difficult living in a place with daily physical and emotional abuse.

I will always remember the day when the caretaker’s son sexually abused me.

Survival was your top priority.

We were always punished. Whether it was for waking up caretakers, going to the bathroom at a “wrong” time or wetting one’s bed.

To make matters even worse, you were never allowed to defend yourself.

The worst memory prior to being adopted was the day my grandmother buried my mother. I loved her.

The best memory prior to being adopted was the time I spent with my grandmother. I still remember the days when we went to the park, baked fresh bread, walked around Bryansk, saw historic sites, but most importantly spent time together.

I never wanted those times to end.

Since being adopted, some of the biggest challenges I had to overcome include learning how to accept a different set of parents.

My adoptive parents were and still are very controlling of my life. It is difficult to live in a household where you are not able to make decisions of your own.

In addition, I had to learn a new language and convert from Orthodoxy to Western Christianity.

I overcame a lot of the challenges by creating a support group of my own. At school, I was able to connect with other adoptees and befriend them. They became my family.

Today, being adopted means an end to a life I was given at birth. I wish I could be with my birth family once again.

Hope is all I have.