Albanian Orphan

A green-eyed child in torn shorts asked for the gum from my mouth as I waited at customs in Tirana, Albania. I had just arrived with a group of volunteers who had been asked to work in and assess orphanages in what was then “the poorest country in the world.” Since a child born out of wedlock was not accepted in this country, and “no man raises another man’s child,” we were told the orphanages were black holes where babies and children were warehoused.

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