I was born on February 16, 2002 in Arusha, Tanzania. Like most of the other kids, my mother gave birth to me in a run down local hospital. For three years it was just me, my mother and my older brother Alex. Alex was always by my side, caring and watching out for me. Unfortunately when I was three years old, my mother died from Malaria. Alex and I moved to live with my father and grandmother.
When I was four years old I met David. David and his family had come over with a mission group from the United States called YoungLife. I can still remember standing with my father watching the Americans build a service project for the school I was going to attend. David politely asked my dad if he could take me with him to help with the project. My father let me go with David and at that moment my life changed. David and I made a strong connection and neither of us wanted to leave each other’s side. During this time I also created a bond with his parents, Drew and Susan.
When the YoungLife mission trip came to an end they all had to return home. I thought that was the last time I was going to see David, Drew, or Susan. The next year came around and I was surprised that Susan came back to see me. This time she did not come back with YoungLife, she came to see me. We spent time together and she and Drew decided to sponsor my education. Though being only five, my grandma did not hesitate to send me to boarding school because she believed everything that was beginning to happen to me was a blessing and she would not get in the way. I became fluent in English while still speaking my native language, Swahili. Drew and Susan sponsored me until I finished my elementary education, when they made a huge decision and asked me to live with them in the United States. They promised my father and grandmother that I would finish my education in the US, and that I will always come back to visit every year.
As time passed, the love between Drew, Susan and I got really deep and it seemed that the relationship was meant to be. Soon they asked if I would like for them to adopt me. Of course I said yes, because I knew they were placed in my life for a reason, and I was supposed to be with them. It was a long process, but in 2016 the adoption was finalized. This set me up to receive a green card and ultimately become an American citizen. Although, I am now American citizen, I will always be Tanzanian. I have two families, one American and one Tanzanian. Our connection has become so close that we grew into one big loving family, who believe in God’s plan. My roots will forever be with me, and I will never forget where I came from. That is what I want to finish my story with. The saying, “it’s not where you start but it is where you finish” is only meaningful if you remember where your life began. This same concept is incorporated in my life. That is why I will never forget where my life started. Now I have the privilege to live in the US with a family that loves me so much, and that’s why I want to help the children in Arusha who are still where they started.