Written by Ava, a former foster youth and human trafficking survivor

I remember the first time my foster parents kicked me out mid-January it was already started getting dark I wondered streets of my home town. Cold and dark a seven-year-old child should not be wondering the streets youths stood by playgrounds all I remember was a cloud of smoke that covered them. I was getting cold but didn’t had where to go I found unlocked door that led me to some apartment blocks hallway quickly I got in lift and gone up to 11th floor I knew no one lived at the top floor I guess I had shelter for a night? I sat on top step still shivering and hungry tried to sleep but each time someone unlocked their door or lift was called I jumped up expecting someone to come up and kicked me out. I looked at the door leading to the roof and there was no lock! Must have been about 3 o’clock in the morning by now I climbed up to the roof cold wind hit my face city seemed so quiet and asleep I was wondering what people who were safe and warm in their beds asleep was dreaming of! I walked to the edge of the roof the beauty of sleeping city and fear of the hight I was standing at sort of made me question what if I just .. jumped!? What if that little heart of mine would not have to feel pain and sadness anymore? What if it could all just go away?  I wonder to this day what if!

By now sun started rising and the beauty of the morning light has got something in me to fight off the urge of jumping! Quickly I had to leave the building before people waking up for work was going to notice me. I guess I survived the night but what’s next?  Hunger and thirst got bad but the fear of seeing my foster parents’ faces was greater no way was I

 going to walk towards that house no matter the hunger or thirst I ended up wondering the streets of that city strangely everyone was so consumed in their own life’s and worries that no one really noticed me wandering around looking thru shops windows and wishing I could get a meal. As it was eastern Europe there was plenty of snow so I guess I found solution for my thirst. But my body was getting so tired but still nowhere to go again I waited till someone walked out from their apartment building and managed to sneak in before door shut. Someone was in a lift so I quickly started running up the stairs at 3rd floor of building someone had left milk and some rice I think it was meant to be for cats that somehow used to find their way in. Trust me when u hungry u don’t care if it’s in cat bowl you eat what you get and I guess that was better than that painful hunger. I was to scared of getting caught at the end so I ended up leaving.

I remember that evening I went to hide underneath someone’s balcony for a night before that I noticed light in the window above family there was about to have dinner smell was getting to my nose from the slightly opened kitchen window if only I thought, could hear kids’ laughter and father calling them to have their meal mother walked towards a table carrying her daughter my heart was breaking as I knew that will never be me!  that I will never be held like that by my mother I swear I would of and still would give my life for my mum to hug me. It was not hunger or fear that hurt me most it was fact that I knew no one will ever love me like a mother would … cant really remember how everything ended that night but I remember years later and even now that feeling never left me each time a mother would come pick one of my classmates and they would walk away holding hands my heart broke as I couldn’t have that. Each time I see a woman holding her child I feel sadness or maybe even a bit of jealousy. I remember when I was 15 and back in kids home a beautiful couple walked in, we kids all knew someone that day would become their child! As I sat on the stairs couple walked past carrying 14 months old twins in their hands and my heart broke again, I knew no one wanted me at the age of 15 I was deemed to be to problematic to broken or to hard to cope with but I was still a child and as I sat there, I just wanted to scream!! Hey I am here! I Promise I won’t cause trouble I promise to be good just give me a chance! A chance to be loved! That’s all I wanted then ..For someone to show me love a parent would!

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