Have you ever had the chance to talk with an orphan – to ask what it feels like to be an orphan?

I’ve lived most of my life as an orphan and I’ve known many others, so I know what they would say. I lived in Korea until I was 22. Then God made it possible for me to join a family in the United States.

Most orphans would say that they want more than anything else to be rich and rise up in the world. So at least they could get away from being an orphan. Finding their birth parents is not that important to them though it may be a second choice. They know that their parents will never look for them.

Being an orphan is not the way you want to live. When I was growing up, an orphan was second class. Some people thought orphans were “no good.” It was lonely, painful, fearful. I worried about starvation. And people take advantage of orphans.

After I got out of the orphanage, I was desperate. At the age of 17, I was completely by myself. I couldn’t go back to the orphanage. But no one cared about me and what I was doing.

Luckily, I did have someone I could contact. When I was in the orphanage, I had a sponsor. I didn’t know how to write to them, but I did have their address. Because I had left the orphanage, I was afraid that they wouldn’t care anymore. But they were the only ones I could tell about my feelings.

I had a feeling that they loved me so that they would write back. They are a Christian family, and they’d sponsored me since I was little. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I could be here in the United States now.

To the orphan, sponsors are a big encouragement. Orphans care about their sponsors and they love them, like I did. If I didn’t have a sponsor, my life could have been in a bad situation. But because of my sponsor, their encouragement and prayers and love, I worked hard to live the right way and did not give my life up. I still write to my former sponsor, and they still encourage me.

At the last Oregon Holt Heritage Camp, I shared my story. I cried and couldn’t finish my speech, but I’d like other opportunities to share my experiences with young adoptees.

Every time I see kids who were adopted as young children, I feel that they were surely blessed. They didn’t have to go through all of those hard experiences that I did.

Some adoptees are positive about being an adoptee, but some are not. They wish they’d never been adopted. But they don’t know what it’s like to grow up in an orphanage.

I know that some kids who are adopted when they are older have some problems, but they’re sure happy about being in the United States.

I am very lucky because the Mayberry family brought me to the United States to be in their family. Now I can feel that I have enjoyed my life. But even still, I feel that something is missing. Of course, I am old enough now to be independent, and I should go out and look for my new life. I think I am jealous because I didn’t have parents – the most important people in my life – when I was little. I always dreamed about getting all the attention and getting spoiled by loving parents. But now it’s too late to dream about those things. I have grown up.

That’s why I think that having a family is so very important to orphans. I went through childhood without parents, and I always felt that I had missed something important.

Now I really enjoy working at Holt because they help orphans to find families. Even though I came to my family as an older person, I think I am very fortunate – because I have a family. I am not by myself. I am a member of a family and that has helped me to appreciate even more that I am part of an eternal family – the family of God.

Being an Orphan
Julie Hwang Duvall
Eugene, OR
From Hi Families March/April, 1989
©1989 Holt International Children’s Services

Full review here

Children without parents are worldwide (Pinterest)


  1. This is why it is so important for us to be kind to one another. You never know what a person has been through or what they are going through. There are many overcomers in this world who never speak, but it was heart reaching to read this. When we were little we used to sing a song in children’s Sunday School. Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Be it yellow, black, or white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. Great post—thank you so much for sharing….Blessings and Peace.

    1. It is so heartbreaking and isolating Kally. I suppose I would feel disconnected and estranged from the whole world. Thank you for stopping by and reading. Have a wholesome week ahead.💕🌺💕

  2. What a moving story! I always wished to adopt kids. I am 29. I hope someday I adopt a kid and provide a better future. All kids deserve love. They are orphans only because some human beings chose to abandon them. As humans, collectively we can give love, support and warmth to those kids and make their childhood less lonely.

    1. Thank you very much for your empathy, Ambika. For me, life is a process of our own sorrows and love. In other words, we must counter all sorrows, hate and sadness with love or else what we will encounter in our world , is more ugliness, hate and sorrow. 😞

    1. Thank you Dorothy for taking time out to read, reflect and comment on this sorrow. In my heart I know that at the end of every distorted rainbow, God has a big surprise in love that is forthcoming. Have a blessed weekend! ❤️❤️❤️☕️☕️☕️

    1. Hello Val! Happy Friday to you! Thanks so very much for stopping in. Your feedback is gratefully appreciated. The subject here is a sensitive one. I keep pouring my half-filled self into my empty self. The pain and sorrow of every orphan, is most always filled with sorrows and intense anxieties. 😞🙏

    2. So glad you found a “forever family.” With God as our Father we have a family that will love us into eternity….thank God we are not alone!!!!!

    3. Hello again Val and than you for your empathy. But the share here is not my personal story. The pain is so great that I share the reality, that I too could be an orphan.😞

    4. I agree! Operation Baby Lift was a touching documentary on war orphan babies of Vietnam. There were so many babies made by US soldiers and Vietnamese women that were abandoned. A lot of Americans had those children airlifted and brought to America for adoption. It is sad how some of us come into this already chaotic world, but I am sure God has all sorrowing lives covered with secret blessings. ❤️🌺❤️

  3. More strength and blessings to you


    “The Duty Of A True Patriot Is To Protect His Country From It’s Government.” (Thomas Paine) “You are the govt’s boss, don’t let them forget it. Don’t play their game, play yours; resistance is mandatory!”

  4. Thank you for sharing this touching story. I am sorry that you grew up as an orphan but I am so grateful that you were sponsored. Praise God. My daughter has three little boys from Haiti, my beautiful grandchildren. One she found in a straw tent as a baby dying from starvation. Two of my grandchildren were slaves chained to a bed frame. These boys are such a blessing to our lives and of course to theirs. They are happy, productive and loving children today. I am grateful that your sponsor loved you and gave you advice and love just like parents should. I am so glad we met here.

    Still I can’t imagine what you went through and I am very sorry for what you went without. “But for the grace of God go I” I love this saying because it is so true.
    I hope you have an amazing and blessed weekend. I am going to try to make your shrimp and grits recipe this weekend for my honey. 🌸🌺❤️

    1. No Joni this is not my life’s story but one that is being shared by AOC. It is touching especially when life overshadows us with selfish concerns that blot out the value of real love. ❤️🌺❤️😞🙏

    2. I am glad to here that you were not an orphan. I am very touched by the story. Everyone needs to be loved. Have a wonderful weekend my dear friend. Love and hugs Joni 🤗❤️💕

    3. Sponsorships very helpful and adoptions are amazing acts of love! I Praise God for those who are inspired with open-arms of love. Your daughter is obviously one with has open arms of love. I commend her for taking in the three little boys from Haiti and your entire family for making them your own. I cannot imagine the cruelty and hate that was put upon your adopted grandsons. What an awful predicament to witness., but a blessed rescue. The perpetrators must have been insane from being victimized themselves. How nice it is to know that your beautiful grandsons have become a blessing to your family. Love Hugs an Blessings for a beautiful weekend Joni! 🙏🌺❤️🌺🙏

    4. Thank you for your sweet heart and your blessings for our loving family. My daughter has been blessed and these boys are so happy now. They are beautiful and loving children. We are truly the ones blessed as is she. Unfortunately there is a lot of slavery in Haiti. Love, hugs and blessings to you as well my dear friend. Love Joni 🌺🌸❤️😘🙏

    5. Thank you Joni for your feedback once again. I have heard and read about the sorrows of Haiti and sometimes it doesn’t register, But hearing about over and over again, it becomes a sweltering, sore reality.

    6. We don’t need extra things right now to feel badly about. One of the things I love about your site is I know I am going to read something uplifting even before I click on AOC. It is just because I have been there on several mission trips in the field and seen the star reality. I am just so grateful for each and everyone of my blessings. You have an amazing Saturday my friend. Love and Hugs Joni🌺🌸❤️

    7. Thank you Joni for stopping by. Hope you are having a delightful weekend. And thank you for your kind words in appreciation of AOC’s shares. Sorry but I cannot say that all of AOC’s shares are uplifting because many of them are not. Sad! Life is just a ponder. And honestly we cannot talk about someone’s experience in life unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes. AOC’s shares are just that. Many of AOC’s shares start out on a bad phrasing of title, however the resolves of the story are, for the most part uplifting, and this happens at the story’s end, shared resource referrals and thru positive comment engagements. Happy Saturday to you Joni! You are the embodiment of love’s proclaiming inspirations!! Big HUGS!!💕☕️☕️🌺🌺

    8. Oh you are so sweet my dear friend. Stories that end well show the spirit of the survivors, the warriors and those that persevere.
      You are very kind to me and I really appreciate you. You are an incredibly hard worker my friend. I am sending you big hugs and love right back. Enjoy your weekend. Love 💕❤️💕Joni

    9. That is very true my friend and realizing everyone has met sorrow at some time in their life. Love and hugs dear friend. Sending loves and big hugs ❤️💕💐🤗🤗

    10. So true my friend. Everyone has their battles and we should all tread carefully around those we know have been hurt. Hope you are having a fantastic morning. Sending hugs from NC. Joni

    11. I think the world struggles with these things everyday. I do agree my friend. We just have to try and be as positive as we can but that is not always easy. I am glad to have your site taking me back to fun times and happy memories. Love 💕 hugs and coffee beans coated in caramel and dipped in dark mint chocolate. Joni

    12. Thank you kindly Joni for your reflective feedback. We as Americans have a lot to think about so that love, understanding and peace can come together. Shares as this one opens up the pain of paths that others may not realize. How nice it is that you appreciated the selected music and shared with coffee! Joni you may not know this but bloggers etc. being on the internet is actually all of us in outer space. I don’t know how long we will be floating around here, but we had better make good use of it before they shoot us down.😞

    13. I too consider this connection to the world talking to people everywhere such a true blessing. You are so right about needing kindness, understanding and love for our world to change. I cherish this opportunity to talk to people all over the world. I hope we don’t loose this venue. Yes, I love your music you share, so many bring back many great memories. Have a blessed and safe day my friend. Love and hugs ❤️🌸💕 Joni

    14. Thank you for your kind compliments and your share inspire my heart and consciousness. Through your writings, I have become aware of my own losses and I now have a greater sense of being. I am happy that you understand what I am talking about in these cyber times and moments. We should cherish this odyssey and do all things that are positive. One day surely satellites and connectors will be gone, including our gadgets. There are so many journeys in life…orphan, together, apart…

  5. The orphans. 💔❤️🌧☀️🌻 it is good there are people who still care. Who reach out to address the needs of others. So much hurt in our world. It feels overwhelming. We each do our tiny part and watch the world change into a kinder, gentler world. While others still only bring hurt and pain. We can forgive. We can hope. We can do our part.

    1. You’re right Jeanne! People are hurtful because they too are hurt and hurt is all that they know of and all that they have to give. Our world is messed up and we cannot run or hide from that truth. The rooted problems are mixed and complex but not too difficult for humbleness and love to cure.🤔🙏🌈

    2. Agree. Once we realize that to continue the cycle of abuse is self-defeating, the sooner healing can fully begin. We each make choices… let us all make wiser choices. The pain has to stop with each of us regardless what we have endured. There is no other way to end our insanity. A beautiful post.

    3. Thank you Jeanne for your most empathetic feedback. The world is a scary enough with all of its evil. How horrible it must be to feel insecure and abandoned amidst confusion. May God help us all to nurture in the love that we want for ourselves in a giving gift to the innocent and vulnerable. Have a blessed and restful weekend! 🌺💕🌺☕️☕️

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