Beth and I were visiting with a friend last week. This friend has her own successful business and over the years she has hired several orphan girls to work. This hasn’t always been an easy thing for her. Often, the girls she has hired haven’t been model employees and haven’t received her guidance in a positive way. She shared with us, “I don’t understand these orphan children sometimes. They talk like “aggressive dogs” to me on the phone”. She tries to understand but she can’t. They report to her that their way of doing things is normal when she tries to share a better way of speaking to adults. They want to be paid, but don’t want to work.
Currently only one remains in her employment. This young woman is in her early 20’s now. Even though she has worked there for a number of years she still has an “orphan mentality” and behaviors. She is so beautiful and has a sweet smile when she greets Americans or those she thinks will give her things. Unfortunately, growing up in an orphanage has taught her how to be manipulative. and this is a skill she uses well. Any time she sees an American, she turns on her smile. Through the years she has used her “poor me I’m an orphan” situation to get many things. On the outside this may seem normal or acceptable behavior. She is an orphan after all. She has many needs. The thing is, she has received so much for “free” without having to do anything except share her “pitiful me” story she has mastered the manipulative behavior but not grown emotionally or mentally. There is much need in her life but the material items she has gained don’t fill the hole in her heart. Where she lives she is known for being selfish, mean, grumpy, and boastful of what the Americans have given her. Yet, she doesn’t take care of what she has, and is never satisfied with the quality or quantity. She hasn’t learned the value of honesty, working hard, nor the satisfaction that comes from a job well done or accomplishing a task set before her. She has yet to learn the value of what she can do to improve her circumstance by her choices and hard work. During the depression in America, many people raised themselves up out of deplorable situations because of their hard work and willingness to persevere through the long haul. Athletes don’t gain medals or improve performance without much diligence and hard work. Working hard is a gift we are given to help us grow.
Our friend told us about this young woman’s desire to marry a 35-year-old man. All girls long to grow up and get married. It seems like girls around the world desire to have “Prince Charming” come and rescue them. However, the Hollywood versions have done women around the world a disservice. Girls need to grow into capable women willing to work and find a husband who will be a partner to them, not a rescuer. This young woman so desperately wants a safe place to call home. Living at the Youth House where she currently lives is a rough and many children run away trying to seek safer lodging. It is housing double the children it was designed for. Both young men and young woman with only a few staff to oversee them all. Because these children lack wisdom and the ability to make wise choices they most often end up in much worse places than where they started. Knowing who to trust and whom to believe has your best interest at heart is almost impossible when you have never bonded with anyone in your life.
Our friend met with her and this man she wants to marry to try to understand the situation. This man, who studied in Russia, says he’d like her to move in with him and his parents. He expressed to our friend that he eventually would marry her but not until later. Our friend was very concerned. This is not a normal or good situation. She expressed her concerns but was told it really wasn’t any of her business. This man has told the young woman not to listen to our friend. There are other nationals trying to speak into this girl’s life. But this man is telling her no one else really cares for her like he does. He is isolating her – which is a huge warning sign. Unfortunately many people take advantage of orphan children. An orphan who is older now expressed she didn’t want anyone to know she had grown up in the orphanage and is an orphan. She lies to friends telling them she has parents. She said if anyone – even her friends – found out she was an orphan she would be in danger because “Everyone knows orphans have no one to care for them and look after them!”
One of the problems with only seeing a child as they are growing once a month or every other week or so is the lack of true relationship built over time. These orphan children do not know whom to trust and whose advice they should listen to. Their desire for a warm safe place isn’t on a foundation of real wisdom and knowledge of what that truly entails.
Like those we allow to speak into our lives, these children need people willing to spend the time to build long-term relationships.
The urgency to find a house so we can open our doors is our highest priority at this point. That will be the easy task in comparison to building positive relationships with these children that are so broken in heart and spirit. Much time and energy will be needed in order to model and help them grow and mature into the young women they were born to be.
Thank you for joining with us in this. The next story will be about a young woman who was taken to Russia by a grandmother who claimed her after many years of growing up in the orphanage. The grandmother was very open that this now 17-year-old girl could make her some money.
Please don’t let your hearts become hardened to these heartbreaking stories.
“We learn that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” David Platt
Be thankful this Thanksgiving for all the many blessings you and your family have.
I am so thankful the Epic Journey of my life has brought me here to Kazakhstan. I’m thankful my heart breaks for those who have no one. I’m thankful for my two precious “grown” children – Marc & Sarah” back in Virginia. I’m thankful for my family and friends who join me with encouragement and support as a community of folks committed to ENGAGE with each other and the children here in ways that ENRICH each of our lives in was that EMPOWER us each to be who we were uniquely created to be.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance!
Victoria for J127 Ranch