Sitting on a bench in the park, I took a snack; an eight-year-old girl approached me and asked me to share it with her. Of course, I didn’t expect this, but I almost choked. Usually, I don’t pay attention to it, but I felt sorry for her …
“Kiddo, will I buy you another sandwich? Come on?”
At first, the girl was confused, but then agreed:
“I’m sorry, would you mind if I get one more? I’ll keep it for tomorrow, or maybe for the next two days….”
“Yes, of course, you can get more.”
We strolled to the store; I bought ham, bread, and sausages and drank juice. We sat down on the bench, and the girl began to eat, and I decided to ask, “Why are you here alone? Where are your parents?”
“I live with my aunt, who is now ill, lying down, and she receives a small pension, leaving her with barely enough money to buy food and medicine, so I want to help; I head to the store shopping for food.”
She did not talk about her parents, just that her mother had died, and she had no idea where her father was.
“Don’t you have to be at school already?”
“I was supposed to start school, but we couldn’t afford to buy a uniform and notebooks either, so Aunt Ann wanted to save some money so I could go to school next year. I don’t really like school; I can go anywhere. My aunt lies in bed now, and she’s already old.”
I was shocked by her words and decided to take Nataly to her home. I asked if she would mind, “We can bring pies to your aunt Ann if you don’t mind me coming with you.”
“Okay, I’ll leave her those two.”
I gave Nataly the package where she put everything. I also decided to buy some medicine for her sick aunt. As we approached the house, we saw that it was old and damaged, and the girl and her aunt appeared to be the only residents.
As we entered the middle, I saw a sick woman lying in a dirty bed. The kitchen was infested with cockroaches, and nothing but crumbs lay on the floor from the food. I looked at all this and decided to talk to my aunt, who had already seen me, and probably did not understand what I was doing here.
“Good afternoon! Please don’t be scared; I won’t hurt you. Tell me, do you need help?”
“I am not afraid anymore; I am so sick, hoping for the doctor’s visit to examine me. I do not know where Nataly would live if I go….”
“Let me look after her, and I’ll take you to the hospital.”
I helped Nataly’s aunt get in the car; we took her to the hospital. There, her aunt talked to the doctor, who prescribed treatment. I thought about the girl and took her in, but something had to be done; it was a pity to leave her there. I didn’t want to have more children, but this situation changed my mind. I decided to adopt Nataly; my eldest son David was not against it. On the contrary, he always said he wanted a younger sister.
I lived alone, and my wife and I did not have time to divorce, but we were on good terms. So, she helped with the documents, and I adopted Nataly quickly. Aunt Ann underwent a course of treatment, and then we decided to send her to a rehabilitation center, where we visited her every week.