Apparently when we were babies, my twin was crying one night and my drunk parents punched her. In the morning they found her dead. My stepfather took all the blame and went to jail. I then found out that I have four siblings, my mother would give birth and then put them into orphanages. Once, she tried to kill one of her own babies. She was diagnosed as mentally ill.
I was so angry. I felt unlovable – because I was the child of this monster. It took so much time and effort from my Christian mentors to comfort and encourage me. At last, a turning point came. It was New Year’s Eve and I had a dream. I saw God in this bright light, and I also saw the devil. I understood that there is no other way, except these two ways. I woke up and knew that I wanted to belong to God.
As a child growing up in an orphanage, I often didn’t know how to act and I felt completely confused. I became closed and distrustful because I was trying to protect myself. The most precious memory of all for me was going to summer camp. It was there that I realised what friendship, acceptance and love mean. I also had a sponsor who wrote to me. These letters were a kind of connection with the outside world. It helped me not to feel like just another orphan without a future.
Now I am 23 and have many dreams and plans. I often go to orphanages together with other Christians. I see the children, I know what life is like for them and understand that if they find God, like I did, everything will be ok.
Vitalina, who was sponsored as a child in Ukraine
Return to all stories