So, I’ve been removed from my family, my aunt, a stranger and now I’m packing to leave the boys home. I say goodbye to the boys in my room and our room mother. No one shows any emotion. Why would they and why would I? We’re barely human. We’re shuffled around from place to place like cattle. No one wants us. We don’t belong anywhere. We’re a burden on the system – someone needs to run “homes” to care for us. People donate food for us to eat and clothes for us to wear. We live in Guatemala and all of us are wearing American T-shirts printed with English slogans and ads that none of us can read. I leave with a couple changes of clothes, one pair of shoes . . . no personal items – remember, they’ve been stolen or broken.
I climb into a van and we begin the hour drive to another “home”. I don’t know where it is. What difference does it make. I could be 5 minutes away from my family but it wouldn’t matter. No one is going to visit me. I don’t know what my “home” address is or where it is. Some boys talk about finding their family when they turn 18. Where would I begin looking? I have no idea where they are or if they are even still alive. I hurt inside. I’m closing down. How could I ever open up to anyone again? How could I trust anyone? I’m dead inside.
We go through the metal gates to the new “home”. There are block buildings with tin roofs scattered around. Dirty children play in the yard. Older children are playing futbal (soccer). There are frames for goals but no net. There are boys and girls in this home. There are workers doing laundry. Large clothes line run from building to building with clothes of all sizes hanging on them to dry. A couple of ratty scrawny dogs run around while children throw stones at them.
This is home, I guess. What difference does it make? I’ve been abandoned.