Since I was small, I’ve always been traveling, and now I’m already used to those 12-hour drives, the long hours waiting in traffic and all the paperwork that’s needed to travel out of the country. I don’t travel around the world and have a unforgettable vacations with amazing views and tours. I always go to the same places; whether it’s back to the place I grew up at in California or to my other home in Mexico.
Every summer for the past three years my parents have sent me and my younger brother to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. From those years only one of them has really stood out to me the most. It was the end of my freshman year in high school, and the first day I got to Chihuahua my aunt took me to an orphanage called “Casa Feliz” to visit the children since it made me appreciate all of the things I had, I remember this day like if was yesterday. The building was home to more than 15 children, and it was small with no air conditioning. There were children from different ages there and they didn’t have rooms to sleep in or beds, but they were all glad they had a roof over their head.
I kept on going to the orphanage every week with my aunt to help out. There the children started gaining confidence in me. All of them were just glad to see a new face to talk to and have fun with. From all of the children there I became the most friends with one of them in particular. Her name was Mariana. Mariana used to live in the United States with her parents, but when they found out she was mentally challenged her parents didn’t want her anymore. It was something hard for her to overcome since she was only 17. I tried my best to help her forget that her parents didn’t want her anymore. From all the friends I had in Mexico, Mariana was the one I got along with the most. Every time I went she was always happy to see me.
One day my parents called to see how I was doing and I asked them something they weren’t expecting; if they could adopt Mariana. My parents agreed to it and started finding information on adopting her. They talked to various people and all of them gave them the same answer, no. We couldn’t adopt her since she needed somebody who was going to be able to take care of her that had a lot of money, so they could buy the medication she needed and take care of her special needs. At first I was heartbroken but I knew it was the best for her and that she was going to find a family that was going to love and care for her.
When it was time for me to go back home, I knew that it was going to be the last time I was going to see Mariana. Saying goodbye to her was so hard to do since it was probably going to be the last time I was going to see her. Three months later my aunt called me and told me that Mariana had been adopted by a family that lived in the United States. They Since that summer I haven’t been able to contact her, but I am hopeful that I will.
This experience opened up a whole new way I look at things today. I’m more thankful to my family for not leaving me and for the roof they provide over my head. It made me realized that there are children all over the world that have far worse problems than I do. Most importantly it made me continue going to the orphanage every summer and helping out the children there and showing them that there is always somebody who’s going to love and care for them.
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