City of Refuge Orphanage

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

 

I grew up in a family of many kids. We all went to the same school and wore the same quality of shoes and clothes. We all ate the same food and we were brought up with the same values. However, every time we kids had a fight my mom always scolded me more. I was always chided whether I was at fault or not. This never sat well with my 5-year-old self as I felt I was not loved enough.

Years passed and every time we kids argued she never took my side even when I thought she would. I yearned for her love and undivided attention but, she never gave me any special treatments. Around this time was when I was introduced to the word orphan. This word and its meaning created a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts in my mind. Am I adopted? Is that why my mother never took my side?

The more I longed for her love, the farther it seemed. By the time I turned 10 I was convinced that my biological mother was somewhere out there and I should find her and reunite with her. There was so much bitterness in me because I believed I was denied a mother’s love while my other siblings enjoyed it throughout their life. The plan was to express my gratitude to this mother of mine who nourished me for 10 years and leave this house in search of my birth mother. My 10-year-old self obviously did not have a concrete plan of how to find my biological mother but, I knew I wanted to be loved so I would somehow find her.

So as per my plan, I went to my current mother to say Thank you and probably ask a few questions. I thanked her for everything she had done for me and told her I am going in search of my biological mom. She was shocked and hurt and by the time I asked her, “Why do you prefer them to me? How come in your eyes they do no wrong but me? Why do you scold me for them? I was adopted right?” she cried her heart out. Her cheeks were drenched in tears that were overflowing from her eyes like a river. With quivering lips, she exclaimed, “My son! My only son!”

I was startled and sat next to my mother with questions in my eyes to which she replied in between her sobs, “You are my only son. You have only three biological sisters. Your other siblings are not blood-related to you my son. Orphans do not have one parent rather they have many parents. I treated them more gently because I never wanted them to feel I loved you more and I thought since you are my son you would understand me anyway.”

In her eyes, I saw guilt for breaking my heart and a realization that in the process of treating everyone else right she had wronged me on an emotional level. It was in that moment that her words turned into light and entered through the cracks in my heart. I realized her intentions were pure and I wanted to follow that path of unconditional love. I did not want any child to feel unwanted or unloved. Knowing that my other siblings were not related to me on a biological level did not diminish my love for them instead I loved them more and stopped seeking validation from my mother. I knew I was loved and I started radiating that love to all.

And I have followed my mother’s footsteps since that day, caring more for the ones that have many parents (orphans). I have donated to organizations such as Safe the children, Unicef, Child welfare, Our hope land, and Oxfam.

It is true that love is all that there is and if you dissolve all the barriers of ego and misunderstandings that you have created around your heart there will always be enough and more love to give and receive. This is a lesson my mother taught me and this is a lesson I would like to share with the world.

I made my official donation to an orphanage on May 7th, 2012 (my twenty-eighth birthday), I was at my first job at the time In Abuja Nigeria. The donations went to City of Refuge Orphanage Home Abuja. See more below.

City of Refuge Orphanage Home

Items donated

  • Books
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Diapers
  • Baby walker
  • Cake
  • Candies
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