I grew up in Nepal with my brother, sister, mom and dad. When I was very young, my dad left us. I don’t remember much of what happened after that, except that we moved from place to place. Eventually, we connected with a church in Nepal that provided food, safety and shelter. We stayed there for a while, before moving to a different region.
My older sister, who was also pretty young when this happened, didn’t like where we were living so she went to live with some of our relatives in a refugee camp. My mom decided that we should all move to the camp. A short time later my mom left us in the camp with her relatives. My siblings and I were separated because we lived with different relatives. It did not feel like family because our relatives made us their slaves, doing all the work. We were treated badly and suffered much.
At first, we were not registered in the refugee camp and had no papers that proved who we were. Eventually, one of our uncles helped us get the papers we needed to be there legally, and then we were registered in a program to come to the United States. Before coming to the US, my siblings and I were told that we would not be able to live in the same home. We did not want to be separated. All we had was each other. But when we came to the U.S. five years ago, God placed us in the same foster home.
My first school experience in the U.S. was in a middle school. My foster parent dropped me off that first day and left me. I didn’t speak any English. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. There was no one there that could help me. I literally cried all day. I do not remember anything from that first day experience, except crying. I don’t remember anything else from attending that school; my memory has blocked it. After three months we were placed with another foster family. I attended a different middle school and had a better experience. I began school at The Potter’s House in 9th grade.
I didn’t know anyone at The Potter’s House and I was really nervous. I wondered if it would be like the first school I attended and if I would be crying all the time. It was not like that at all. The people were great and welcoming. I love the diversity at The Potter’s House. I love the people and have made some good friends. Mr. DePree was my English teacher and I had lots of questions for him. He was great and was there for me whenever I needed anything. Miss Solis, my science and math teacher, has been a great help too. I’ve been able to open up to her and share some of my story.
I’ve also loved the fact that I have gotten closer to God and have a good relationship with Him. I went to church in Nepal but didn’t really understand God; I didn’t really know who He was or what He did. But coming to The Potter’s House has changed all of that. I’ve come to realize that everything I’ve gone through is for a purpose. It is God’s plan that I am here and that I am learning about Him. Now I’m adopted and God has given me an awesome family.
When I first came to the U.S. it was so scary and I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t have anything or anyone except my siblings. I don’t want other people to feel that way. In the fall I would like to go to GRCC to study general education, and I want to eventually become an international flight attendant. As a flight attendant I would be one of the first people to welcome refugees to a new country. I want to help them feel safe.
Watch Asmita’s story at tphgr.org/weekofhope