• english
  • spanish


I remember my mother, the trips with my father, my brothers and sisters, the house I was born, the town, the friends.
I remember how I used to run away with my sister and play outside until my mother came screaming at me to go back home. My school, the first day, the laughter, how I played, and learned.
I remember when my father died, the sadness, the funeral.
I remember being alone in the house with my little sister because my mother needed to work to bring some food for me and my siblings. Being scared of my crazy neighbor who came into the house and beat us just because.
I remember my sister getting sicker and sicker. I remember her dying. The funeral, all over again.
I remember the woman who told my mother if she wanted to send me to America, where people are VERY rich, or maybe Japan where they are even richer.
I remember my mother telling me : you’re going to America, you’re going to be rich and happy. I remember saying goodbye, not wanting to go.
I remember the ride on the bus, the children crying, myself crying. The orphanage, the other children laughing at me because I was crying.
I remember playing in the yard, the new school, the new friends. The lonely nights, the smell of my urine in my bed, and the urine of other kids before me. I remember taking care of the younger kids, washing dirty diapers.
I remember seeing other kids go, laughing at me because nobody wanted me in America.
I remember the news that I had a new family now, that I was going to be rich. Being happy and promising everybody gifts when I get back to Ethiopia.
I remember the foster home, the new friends and the old friends, the crying babies, the dying babies. The new routines, the long days. 
I remember the ferenjis coming and going, hugging babies, bringing presents, food and candies. I remember the kids leaving forever.
I remember when my new family came to visit, MY OWN ferenjis. The hugs, kisses and promises of a brighter future.
I remember the long trip, the airport, the plane, the hundreds of white faces. Being tired, crying, wanting to go back to my home, my Ethiopian home.
I remember my new big house, the clean streets, the empty streets, my new brothers and sisters, my room, my bed.
I remember the ugly food, the funny smells, the language I didn’t understand, the routines I didn’t understand.
I remember wanting to run away, being scared, feeling alone. The lips telling me they loved me, but the actions telling me they didn’t.
I remember trying to be good but always failing, trying to love but not being able to. 
I remember worshipping new gods during the day, older gods during the night.
I remember the lonely nights, the wet pillows, the smell of my urine in my bed.

I remember my mother, my real mother. My siblings, my real siblings, My friends, my real friends. My home, my real home.

I still remember.

I will never forget.
I can’t forget.