I’m off to Cambodia soon and those of you who know me will know about my adopted child there. Her name is Pesai and I support the orphanage where she lives. I donate money and take clothes and toys every trip.
Pesai (on the right) with her friend
Recently someone suggested to me that perhaps Pesai was a replacement for the child I never had. It always amazes me that whenever I do anything that is connected to children people always presume it is connected to my childlessness.
I spent years hiding the fact that I couldn’t have children. I felt a shame. I still can’t explain that shame but I know it is connected to failure. Why could I not reproduce? Why was I the one child who let my parents down? Why could my sister do twice what I could not do once? What kind of wife was I that could not give my husband a child? What a useless woman I was. These feelings of total failure as a woman stayed with me for many years. This barrenness was partly to blame for my first marriage break up. When I finally came out, because that is what it felt like I felt liberated. I cannot have children. It’s bad luck but not the end of my life. If everything is a replacement child for me it is every novel that is published.
But because I am childless it doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy children. I refuse to be a victim. I will not move house regularly, as another childless friend I know does every time someone with children moves near by. I love kids. I adore my three stepchildren and am very happy and contented with my life. I would like to feel I could interact with children without people presuming it is a replacement for something I don’t have. I give out love and I get love back. That’s it!
I love Cambodia. I love the kids at the Orphanage. It feels like a second home to me. My hairdresser Melanie is there and so are many friends. I have writer friends there and feel very much at home.
If you would like to support the kids in Cambodia you can donate to the orphanage or donate t to the The Angkor hospital for children. Articles on both can be found at my blog and at www.thescavenger.net. Just type my name into the search box for my articles. Or go to www.renham.co.uk