Hi my name is Sasha and this is the story of how I got a second chance at life.
Looking back at my life now it seems impossible what I went through. Before I got adopted from Russia into my American family I didn’t experience a lot of love. In fact, I felt a lot of hate. My biological mother gave me up for adoption when I was about 9 months old, and my aunt then became my mom. She told me that she loved me and that’s why she adopted me. My uncle started to abuse my aunt and got drunk a lot. Later when he moved out he started using drugs, became a drug dealer and was eventually killed by drug dealers. My grandpa died before I was born, but my grandma lived with us and was the closest thing I had to family. She was actually the one who took care of me when my mom was at work or drunk, which was most of the time. My grandma was my best friend. I was 7 years old when she died.
After her death I didn’t think I could live without her. Without her being there for me as a parent I didn’t know if I would be given a bath or put to bed or even fed. Don’t get me wrong, my mom loved me, she just had a different way of showing it. She was a working, alcoholic single parent who was raising me alone. She got sick a lot, but even then she tried to take care of me if she wasn’t drunk. But when I got sick she was always there for me no matter what. She would take off of work and not drink, just to help me get better. And when we had hard times with food and money she ALWAYS thought of me first and NEVER of herself. It makes me sad to think about the hard times we experienced, but happy to think of how she cared for me first. She wasn’t the best mother, but she had a warm heart and she did love me. Because I didn’t have a father figure I did lack parental advice. I started smoking cigarettes when I was just 11 years old and continued until I was adopted by my American family. The older I got, the less time I spent at home. I was always out somewhere with my friends. And because none of us had very good families we weren’t raised very appropriately, so most of us liked to get in trouble. We would break into the factories and steal money, cigarettes, and food.
After my mom died I ended up all alone on this world. When my biological mom gave me for adoption, my aunt(mom) and I moved away. After her death my two older half sisters came back. At the time I thought that they came to see how I was doing, but now I know they only came for my apartment and my money that I had in my account. So I ended up in the orphanage.
School was also never a happy place. I thought I could run away from home and be happy at least at school, but I was mistaken. I got bullied all the time. EVERYONE turned on me. It was a miserable place. I never got in trouble and never missed a class on purpose, maybe because I thought if I just did what I was supposed to do, no one would notice me and everyone would leave me alone. I was wrong then too. I often went home with a bloody nose. Even though I hated everyone for treating me that way and I wanted to make them pay for what they had done to me for all of those years, I never did. I just kept my frustration to myself. And when I got picked on, I tried not to let them see me cry. I thought that if I let them see me crying, they have gotten exactly what they wanted, and I didn’t want that to happen. But I did cry at home in my closet, or in the bathroom. I even thought of giving up on all of this. But something inside of me told me not too.
After going though the death of my mom I felt like I didn’t have purpose on this earth any longer. I completely lost interest in everything. I did things only if I was either asked to do them or told to do them. There were some times when I wanted to do things just so I wouldn’t have to think of what I just went though. Even after going though all of that, I still somehow found strength to control my anger and love everyone.
I hear stories about how bad things were in other orphanages, but at my orphanage the employees were very nice and caring, the building was in good shape, and we had plenty of food. There were about 30 kids in my orphanage. They weren’t nearly as nice. I made the most of the situation, but it wasn’t a family.
Even after having a hard childhood with almost no love in it I still had hope. Hope in something better there for me.
When I heard that was going to have an American family all I thought of was, “ I don’t want to go somewhere where I won’t be loved.” But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. At age 14 I finally had a chance to have a family and have parents who will love me for who I am. Hearing that I was going to have both a mother AND a father, both excited and terrified me. My thoughts went wild and I kept asking myself what if… What if he is just like the rest of the fathers who don’t like their children and drinks a lot and is very mean? I didn’t know what to do, but I put all those thoughts behind me and decided that all that mattered was that they wanted me! They chose me to be in their family. That was all that mattered. And that day finally came, and I couldn’t have been happier.
|Sasha (bottom right) with her friend who is now her adopted sister, and her parents in Russia before their adoption.|
My New Family
The thought of being a part of a family seemed beyond real. I finally had a chance to call someone dad. I learned about Jesus in Russia because my grandmother always took me to church. I knew He loved me and gave His life for me, but I had never really given my life to him. My mom says that I came to our family very prayerful and soft to the things of the Lord. But I definitely grew in my faith in here in America. After a year or two I got baptized. It’s actually pretty cool. My actual dad baptized me as a profession of my faith in my spiritual Dad. That day I really didn’t feel like anything was different, but now looking back I realize that was the day when I really started living again. I got to have the honor of having two dads who loved me. At a time when I couldn’t imagine my life getting any better, it did.
My life right nowI am 22 years old right now. I graduated from high school 2 years ago with 3.875 GPA. I did a year of an Encounter School of Ministry (a program where you take a season of your life and dedicate it to God) and I am currently attending community college. So far my life has taken me on adventure that I never thought I would go on. I have come so far in the past 8 years that I have been in America. I couldn’t have done any of it without my Heavenly Father.
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