Aiysha Overcomes a Broken Family
By Alyssa Carrel, ER Staff Writer
Life is often tragedy. We struggle and fight to claw our way out of the sadness that wants nothing more than to pull us back down. Tragedy can be intoxicating, telling us we were never anything special and now that we’ve suffered, we will never be anything special.
In her brief 19 years, Aiysha* has experienced the extreme tragedy of loss of family. Taken from the care of her mother at a young age, Aiysha was forced to answer the question, “What is family?”
After living in a group home with 16 other kids, Aiysha was moved to ER partner African Hope Trust at age 11. Although this experience was new and awkward for her, she quickly began to bond with the other few children in this new home.
It took her about a year to transition into this new family dynamic. She struggled to find her ‘home’ as she witnessed parents coming to visit her foster siblings, constantly wondering, “Why mine isn’t even trying to visit to see how it is.”
Even in the midst of this pain, watching her siblings’ parents come to visit was one of her favorite memories growing up. “I liked seeing happiness in their faces.”
African Hope Trust is a children’s home structured in a way that no more than six kids will be “assigned” to a house (one of three) at any given time. This gives the house mothers a unique opportunity to personally bond with each child.
Transition in these types of circumstances can be incredibly difficult for the children. Rachel, Aiysha’s house mom, does an excellent job helping each child with his or her transition. She fields questions like, “Why doesn’t my daddy come?” In Aiysha’s opinion, it was Rachel who taught her the meaning of family, who made her feel at home.
But her success also comes from her strong will. “I had to stay in the mindset of family, even while others left because the [house mom] wasn’t ‘their mom’.” Aiysha says it was this ‘mindset of family’ that helped make this new house a real home.
As I sat with Aiysha, I noticed her poise and maturity. Now an adult in the family, Aiysha seeks ways to care for her mom (Rachel) and siblings, while also attending a local college. She is currently studying business management and would one day love to work for start-up companies to help them achieve financial success. Her ultimate goal after college is to get a job and care for her family.
Despite the abandonment, confusion of identity and continual change—Aiysha has endured much in order to survive.
She is still fighting; fighting for her degree, fighting for her future and fighting for her family.
She has fought well and is a true overcomer!
*Name changed for privacy.