Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Frank Jones

Frank Jones swept us off of our dirty little feet when he came to visit the orphanage. We didn’t know why he was there or who he worked for and I’m not sure we cared. He was kind, and fun and we loved him.

The year was 1977 and my sister and I had been in the orphanage in Dhaka for a few months. I think I had started to accept that I would never again see my mother. Well maybe not accept, but I knew it was true.

The orphanage wasn’t so bad. There were lice, and lots of crying, and children who had been there their entire lives but there were also three meals a day, and the promise of a better future. I only cared that my sister was with me. Back then she was my everything - both of my parents, my best friend, my siblings, and well… my whole world rolled into one small brown girl with two big front teeth. As long as she was beside me I feared everything a little less.

We rarely had visitors in the orphanage. So when Frank Jones came it was a special treat. He had brown curly hair, always carried a camera and was the happiest person I’d ever met in my young life. During that visit we went on picnics, listened to music, chewed gum for the first time and felt hope that this elusive thing called ‘getting a new family’ might not be so bad after all.

My sister especially adored him and asked him daily – ‘you be my daddy?’
Gently he would tell her no, he had lots of kids of his own already but somebody lucky would be her daddy someday soon.

Years later I learned that Frank was a reporter for the Toronto Star and that he had visited us to write a story on international adoption. The story is in the archives somewhere and I’ve meant to order it so many times just to have and show Deaglan someday. The picture he used to tell the story is of my sister wearing his Toronto Star hat with a caption that read: Will you be my daddy?
We’ve spoken once since. Frank and I. I wrote to him and he asked if he could do a follow-up story on my sister and me. At the time, my sister didn’t particularly feel like much of a success story so we declined.


  1. Life in an orphanage must have been hard.I cannot even imagine what It must have been like.But it is heartening to know you have your own family now.Deaglan would be proud of his mommy for sure!

    ♥ Chaitra

  2. What an amazingly touching story. He seemed like a really nice guy. How lucky you were to have a bit of a break in your regular routine when he came to visit. And I am SO glad you are not there anymore.

    Are you and your sister still pretty close?

    It would be great if you could get in touch with him again.

  3. what an amazing story you have. i was sad this post ended...i wanted to hear more. Deaglan is so blessed ot have a strong mommy to be proud of!

  4. This brought tears to my eyes...what a tragic life beginning you had... and yet, what a wonderfully happy ending you have created!!! You are and inspiration in so many ways!!! Thanks for sharing this!!! Deaglan is very fortunate to have such a terrific mom! ~Janine XO

  5. You should definately get a copy of that story - and keep copies of everything that you've written so far about your childhood. It will be a wonderful treasure for Deaglan to have when he's an adult.

    You are such a strong woman...thank you for sharing your story with us!

  6. Amazing story. I didn't realize you were in an orphanage. I haven't been following your blog for long so I'm just learning. Did you and your sister get adopted?

    My wife and I have talked about adoption, and stories like this make me think about it even more.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Kim - so amazing. Do order a copy of the article. A few copies. Save one for your sister. Maybe she'll be able to read it later, maybe not, but at least you'll have it for her.

  8. Kim- I was really sad that it ended and how it ended. seems like there should be more. But what a great story of hand-hold and shoulders. And Frank Jones is such a great natural name as opposed to say, Humphrey Digglesdorf. I mean, I can almost see his hat tipped over one eye like an old gum shoe.
    Really a nice read. ~rick

  9. Oh my goodness...I can't imagine what that must have been like to grow up there. I hope you feel like sharing the 'rest of the story' with us someday. Being a mom yourself now must be even that much more special!

    ps You have a blog award waiting for you on my site today. :)

  10. I can't imagine what you two felt like each day in an orphanage. Deaglan is so lucky to have such a wonderful mom. I felt teary eyed when you write about your sister asking for a daddy. Kim, you're amazing!

  11. What a touching story. I teared up reading this...
    I can't imagine what it must have been like there, but I'm so thankful that you had your sister with you.
    Sonds like Frank was a nice man.

  12. I hope you get around to getting a copy of that story and some day do a follow up story with the reporter.....i would love to hear all about it. your story could be a is so moving and emotional.....i have fallen in love with it. you need to write a book or something kim! I would love to read your whole story....

  13. Oh, Kim...thank you for your so very thoughtful, and kind words!!! It means so much to me...and it appears the feeling is mutual!!!! I LOVE your blog!!!! Thank you for your friendship!!! I truly treasure it!!! ~Janine XO

  14. Thanks Kim for sharing that piece of your story. Very heart stirring. I pray your sister is finding more and more peace and "success" everyday.

    I love the shot of Deaglan and the water. :)

  15. Wow, you have such an interesting history. No wonder you can relate to my tragedy to well. I'd love to hear more about your life - maybe I need to scan your archives more closely?

  16. very poignant, Kim. Your background is quite the adventure. I love the picture of Deaglan....

  17. Thanks for sharing this post and writing about life in the orphanage. Your child is so blessed and proud to have you.

    One Day at a Time with Silver

  18. That post brought tears to my eyes.
    God bless


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