“After my parents passed away, I lived with my elder siblings. They had their own children and set of struggles so I soon became a burden. I was barely 13 when I started abusing substances and skipping classes. I didn’t go home and found shelter in friends’ houses. One night, I went home with my friend who lived with his uncle, who was also our maths teacher. He let me spend the night without any questions. It was a “sleepover” for one night but I went back the next day and then the day after that. It was only after about a week that he asked why I didn’t go home. I remember feeling terrible as I told them I was an orphan. I said I was struggling and cried. His eyes filled with tears too. He then told me I could stay with them. I was fed, clothed and tutored along with his nephew. I finally understood what a home felt like.

One day, my teacher told my class that I was being adopted. Later that day, I looked up the word adoption and cried silently. I felt safe and knew life would get easier. That one nights sleepover has now turned into 5 years. My foster dad takes care of everything, all I have to do is study well. Although he lives abroad now, his parents and siblings welcome me in their homes and love me as their own. I visit my own siblings sometimes too but a home is where your heart is. And mine is with my new family.”

Here are few lines from a letter he wrote to me: “I can’t give you a bloodline-a family tree reaching back hundreds of years or say, “You look like your grandfather” or “You got that from me.” What I can give you is a spiritual heritage; an existence that lived long before you were born. I will weave the fabric of my own story into yours for although I did not give birth to you, I gave you a life. This history of mine, and of yours, interweaves into a cloth so strong that nothing can tear it. You are my son, my joy and through my history, you will learn yours, and perhaps your future. It may be that at times you will look back and judge me as too stern or too demanding. If so, I hope you will remember these words and you will understand.”

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