‘I want to help people, to heal them’
Diana’s mother ended up in the orphanage at about the same age as her eldest daughter. Why did she repeat the scenario of her life and allowed her daughters to be brought up without a mother?
This is a question without an answer, but this proves that coping with difficulties is much more complicated for a person with the experience of living in an orphanage. Diana talks about her life in a calm way, without emotions or making conclusions; she retells the events in chronological order. “My mother has six sisters and one brother, that’s a big family, and not the most prosperous one. We all lived side by side in our hometown; this why it happened that way. I was brought up in a two-parent family; I lived with my mom and dad. My sister and I would often go to the amusement park or shopping. Our parents bought us beautiful clothes and sweets.
We all felt very good together. And then my mother began to drink. My father argued with her; there were permanent scandals at our home. I was about five years old; my sister was three. Then we were taken away from our family for the first time. At that time, my mother had been drinking for about a year; it was clear that she could not look after us. Dad worked, he tried to influence her, but my mother’s sisters came, and everything started all over again. The first time they could take us back, we returned home quite quickly. But finally, we ended up in the orphanage anyway.”
Diana’s parents have a big age difference – 20 years. Diana’s mother is now 33 years old, while her father is 53. By the time the guardianship authorities took both daughters to the orphanage, they had lived together for 14 years.
“I went to the school when I was 7. It was not difficult; I liked studying, the school was better than home. Sometimes I received bad marks; I remember my mother scolding me a lot and forcing me to learn the multiplication table, but I don’t remember her helping me to do homework. I received Bs and As, I finished the third grade, and then I got to the orphanage and went to the fourth grade here. I was nine years old; there was another scandal at home. My father tried to kick my mother’s sister out of our apartment; he hit her hard. It was dad who had to leave in the long run. He never returned, although we saw each other regularly. Mom continued drinking; we were alone all the. time. The police came one day, we were home, and they took us and brought to the hospital. I was 10. After the hospital, we were transferred to the shelter, where we had stayed for nine months and then taken to the orphanage. It was in 2016, 4 years ago, precisely.
Mom visited us, dad, too. Mom kept saying that she was trying to restore in her rights, but that wasn’t true. Dad tried to take us away, but they wouldn’t let him. He brought gifts; no one forbade us to see each other. I cried a lot at the very beginning; I missed my mother. I talked with her for two more years, and then I realized that I no longer love her; I no longer think of her as a mom. We have not communicated since 2018.
My first impressions of the orphanage were painful, but it is this way for everyone, this is normal. Now I feel good here; I have friends, trips to camps. We are given a choice of where to go or what to do. The right to choose makes me happy; I enjoy doing what I am interested in what I love. In the fourth grade, no one looked after me. I went to school, but nobody cared what I did there or how I studied. I studied terribly; in general, I bailed on everything. I just went to school and got bad grades. I got up and walked around the classroom, swearing, right in front of the teachers. I am ashamed of that. I feel embarrassed when I think about it. But it was a shelter; these were my first months there. It’s still a bad excuse, though. I am proud that I improved; I changed my attitude towards learning.
I got into the Chance Program a year ago, I saw how older children in the orphanage were engaged, and I also wanted to.
I learn English and Physics with tutors; these are the most difficult subjects for me. I would like to be able to translate, to read on my own, to understand Physics; I can’t do it myself right now.
I dream of going to Arkhangelsk to study acting; I dream of playing a role in a movie; I dream of becoming a good person. I understand that it is better to grow up in a family, this is right, and it gives you a lot. But I don’t want to go to a foster family. I was offered to go to a family when I was in the seventh grade. Nice people, but they were ready to take me alone, without my sister. How could I agree? How could I leave her? Now I think a lot about this, about all the times they wanted to take me alone, but I did not agree to be separated. And recently they wanted to pick her up. Also her alone, without me. And she agreed. I was hurt so much. She wanted to leave without me. So I did not give my consent, I am already 14, and I had to write that I have nothing against her adoption.
We quarrel a lot, but I am not ready to part like this. It hurt me so much that she thought differently. It is important to communicate with someone you trust, someone you can open up to, tell everything. I have a favorite teacher, Tatyana Andreevna. She is the person who supports me, the one I can turn to for help. Every child should have an adult they are not afraid of.
I love when they tell me stories, I watch films and TV series. I appreciate caring and kindness: how should you communicate with someone if they are angry? It is important for me to be frank; I like straightforwardness, honesty.
I have not heard anything about my mother for two years; she has also quarreled with her sister and blocked her in VK (a popular Russian social network). She blacklisted her own daughter. What can I say about her?
I try to think about the future, enjoy the present, and forget the past. There are many important things waiting for me ahead. The main thing is to go to university and be strong. It’s great that they help us with this; one cannot cope alone.”
To pay for Diana’s lessons with tutors in the next academic year, we need to raise 107,000 rubles, which is the average cost of the participation of one child in the program. Any donation will help us get closer to the amount necessary to provide Diana with the support of her tutors in her graduating class.
*All raised funds will be used to pay for the lessons of Diana and other children from her orphanage