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What were you dreaming about when you were twenty?

August 16, 2014, 12:50 2859 Author: Maria Semashkina, translated by Daria Sukach deti.zp.ua For her 20th birthday, Larisa from Kalinovka dreamt about a portable speaker and a family. What were you dreaming about when you were twenty?

I can't say that Larisa is in the list of my favourites in the orphanage of Kalinovka. At the same time I can’t deny the fact that she is the brightest girl in the girl’s Happy Home. She is the best student in her class and is very good at understanding everything. She is perfectly aware of her wishes. She can hardly do it on a global scale but she does know what she wants for her birthday.

Larisa has recently turned twenty. She is a peer of my younger brother who is soon going to be twenty. My brother is serving in the army now and is dreaming of adventures while we are just dreaming of his coming back home safe and sound. Larisa is dreaming about a loving mom and dad who will unfortunately never come into her life. Larisa can’t be adopted by foreigners since she’s already a grown up and I am afraid nobody in Ukraine will ever have custody of her. She is a wheelchair user what means she cannot help her family but will need constant help herself.

I don’t know how to tell Larisa that she will never have a family. She will never go with her new mom and dad to America like some of her orphanage mates did. I have no clue how I can tell a twenty-year girl that to such a simple thing as a family there is a cruel word “never”…

Fortunately, Larisa does not speak of her family so often and apart from this present for her birthday she wanted a portable speaker. The same as the one the boys from the first Happy Home had. At first I thought I’d pamper Larisa if present it to her until I was told that the girl would never be able to buy it. She would certainly buy it if she were “normal”. So, the Happy Child bought a portable speaker for Larisa. Everything is simple as long as you can buy it for money. Unfortunately, we cannot buy Larisa her parents in the store.

Reflecting upon my dreams when I was twenty I remembered that I was eager of becoming financially independent. I reached my goal pretty soon – found a job and earned more money than my university professors ever did. That’s what I mean – everything which involves money is simple!

My curiosity prompted me to ask people on my Facebook page about their dreams when they were twenty. I was wondering how these dreams could be fulfilled by twenty-year old Larisa and my younger brother. So, there are some thoughts:

My good friend dreamt of becoming a musician. My brother has all chances for that: good ear and a bit more voice and the most important is that he can study. Larisa theoretically has the same chances but there is no one who could potentially teach her at the orphanage even if she wanted.

A volunteer from England dreamt about finding an ideal man. While my twenty-year old brother still has plenty of time for the search for his true love, Larisa’s first and last love will always remain Artem from the first Happy Home who used to call the girl his “fiancee” but now openly and spitefully says that he will find a better girlfriend somewhere else. Although he walks with a cane he is still very cute.

One of our devoted sponsors was dreaming of graduating from the university when she was twenty. My brother can obtain more than one diploma if he wishes whereas there are no special programs and teachers for such learning-disabled people like Larisa in Ukraine.

One of our volunteers from the USA dreamt of mastering fencing. And again – my brother can do it as soon as he wants whereas for Larisa it’s impossible since she’s a wheelchair user and short.

Mom, who adopted two orphans from Kalinovka, was dreaming of seeing the whole world. I don’t know what she meant by writing so. My brother has already traveled abroad whereas Larisa was only lucky to travel to Crimea. Now Crimea is closed for her as well as for everyone here. Larisa will go to the seaside once a year that is her only chance to see the world.

A caretaker from the orphanage in Kalinovka was dreaming of flying on a hot air-balloon. Actually my brother doesn’t dream of that at all but the girl from Kalinovka can have such a chance. I agree with the statement that you don’t need a hot air balloon to be happy but keep in mind that we speak about a girl who was abandoned by her mom and who will NEVER have her own family.

Another twenty-year old girl, our constant volunteer in Kalinovka, dreams about learning to surf. My brother can learn it. Larisa – never ever.

Everyone of us surely had some dreams when we were twenty years old. Some of those dreams we fulfilled or failed to do so due to some reasons such as the lack of determination, courage and persistence. I am sure that you can correct everything as long as you are not faced with the word “NEVER”.

What were you dreaming when you were twenty?

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Cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia

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