I don’t remember the actual day when we arrived at St.Michael’s home, but I do remember it was sunny out. I was looking out the window of the van we were in and saw what seemed to be a Big House. I remember asking my older brother if this was our new home. I noticed the look on his face started changing, like the look he would get when my mother would yell at him countless times. His eyes started watering up and I knew this wasn’t good…so I began to cry.
Now, I wasn’t crying because we were at this place called an orphanage home, and I wasn’t crying because I had no idea what was going on. I started crying because my brother cried, and that meant only one thing. He was scared, and if he was scared, so was I. The next memory I was in an office with a nun. She was big and had a loud voice. It also looked like the top of her head was missing. I remember thinking she looked funny because we couldn’t see much of her face.
We were taught that all nuns were married to God, and that they always wore their wedding dress and a veil that covered their whole head right up to their eyes. They said it, we believed it. I remember this nun asking our names and if we were hungry. Before we knew it, we were in a big kitchen with lots of tables and chairs. There were other kids there, too. Big ones like my older brothers, and small ones like me. There were even girls there. I remember feeling like I did when I would see other kids playing in the courtyard where I used to live, and would start playing with them.
But not this time. I stayed close to my brothers because the kids in the courtyard were familiar, but I didn’t know any of the children here. I stood right next to my other brothers and just ate whatever they fed us. Not long after that, I found myself in a room that looked like the one in the shelter where we were before we came to the orphanage, but nicer. There were lots of beds and wooden lockers at the foot of them and nice pictures on the wall. I remember a long table in the kitchen area with a white refrigerator filled with juice, little milk containers, jello, and pudding.
We never had any of that in our refrigerator at home. Right across from that was a TV set with chairs, a big couch, end tables with lamps, and a big thick rug in the middle.There was even a white cat lying on top of the TV. I remember the walls were blue and the ceiling white. There were two doors in this large room. One in the front that had a sign that read St. Aloysius and one in the back that connected to a bigger room with more beds read St. Peter’s. This big house where we were living now made me feel different from I remembered feeling when I first got there.
I didn’t feel that scared anymore. The last memory I have from that day was thinking my brothers and I had lot more room to run around in than where we used to live. After each day passed by, everything started to change. There were rules we had to follow, and the nuns weren’t messing around either. No one, and I mean no one, was going to wipe our asses, blow our noses for us, dress us, give us a bath, brush our teeth, make our beds, or fold our clothes. They were our counselors, not our parents, and they made that very clear to all of us. They taught us a new word we never heard before… Discipline.