Tag Archives: adoption

The Kindness of Strangers

It often seems like the world is a cold and heartless place. Unfortunately this can be true in far too many cases. Occasionally you’ll come across a story that proves there are still good people left if you just search hard enough.

The story starts with a young girl growing up in an orphanage. Her parents were both deceased and it was her and her little sister. Our girl grew up and went to school and did well enough to get into university. The orphanage paid for her school fees, but not for university. She worked as a waitress to pay for her schooling, but eventually got tired of having money to go for a term then not, then go again. So she dropped out to focus on work full time.

During this time, she grew up a bit more and is now in her early twenties. She’s been working at the same restaurant for half a decade and is being paid decent enough money to send her littler sister to university. Her little sister is on track to graduate within two years. If the story ended her it would be good enough, but it doesn’t.

One day after work she was on a boda (motorcycle taxis in Uganda) when it wrecked and she was sent to the hospital. Not having enough money for the hospital bills, an older friend of hers loaned her enough to cover the bills. This friend was a single father, the mother of his child unfortunately passed away during child birth. He had a son of seven years old, a real bright kid.

Months after our girl gets out of the hospital, her friend is arrested by the police. It turns out he didn’t actually have the money to loan her, he was involved in a shady deal or two to raise the funds for her medical bills. He refused to tell her because he wanted her to focus on getting better and back to work. In prison the worst happened. He was beaten to death by a gang over some small slight, leaving his son an orphan.

Not willing to let this man’s son become another forgotten youth, our girl took him into her life eight months ago. The man allowed her to receive the treatment she needed, in effect saving her life so she had to return the favor somehow. Spending months with a lawyer and filling out forms and stacks of paperwork, she finally officially adopted the son. She knows she can’t truly repay the man for the sacrifice he made for her, but she’s doing what she can.

Now she lives in a small rented room, her and the boy. She works close to ten hours a day, scrimping and saving her coins. She supports herself, the boy, and her sister at university. While other girls (for she is still only a young girl) her age are out buying nice clothes and make up to go out partying, she is managing the balancing act of being a young mother and all the learning that implies, being one of the most important fixtures at the restaurant she works at, keeping a tolerable social life, and planning for her future. Belonging to a local church full of ex-pat NGO and missionary workers has helped her immensely since they will often take the boy on trips she can’t afford or for weekends to give her time to act her age with her friends. It’s both sad and inspiring what she puts herself through without any personal gain or recognition.

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