Have you ever felt a deep need of turning back to your origin and showing the world that you’re proud of it?
We are Aster and Betty and 12 years ago, we left Africa from an orphanage in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and moved to America, looking for a better life and smoother conditions. Little did we know that America wasn’t actually the green pasture it was portrayed to be and little did we know that this journey to the US would reinforce our love for our culture.
We were both born in Ethiopia, a country in the eastern part of the beautiful African continent. We do not remember a lot about our childhood but I remember my mother telling me to stay strong and don’t cry. So I didn’t. When Betty came we became best friends. All we can remember about our biological families is that Betty had just her mother and I lived in a family of 5 children with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I remember being very close to one of my sisters.
Like every child of our age, all we wanted was to have the life which any ordinary child had; going to school, having toys and playing around with friends. Sadly this wasn’t the case. In order for us to benefit from such advantages, there was the need to move to a new place, a place with better living conditions and opportunities..
Then came an important moment in our lives. When I was 3 and Betty was 4, we had to leave our home in Ethiopia to a new country, the United States. We didn’t have any impression or emotion, since we were quite young and we knew very little about life. We didn’t really know what was going on but I guess we were excited because we were moving to a new place, that was cool...
We were taken to the U.S. by a Foster Family in Florida. It was a long flight and Betty turned 5 during the trip. A nice family of white Americans took us in. They had a small girl whom we loved and considered as a sister. We spent close to a year with this family. We started going to school and met new people. We lived on the beach and took lots of trips. We started doing all the things children of our age were doing. I even had a joint birthday beach party with my foster sister as I turned 4. Everything was just fine and we were happy...
Then one day, we heard we had to leave Florida and the foster family as well. We couldn’t believe it! We didn’t understand what was going on. We just thought another family we had come to love didn’t want us anymore. For this first time since getting left at the orphanage, I cried.
After we were told we were leaving, our new parents came to visit us in Florida, and took us out. We spent the whole day together. We went out to eat and we went to a gift shop and were allowed to get whatever we wanted. After they left we continued communicating on the phone from time to time. I remember our mom once said that they decorated our rooms and that everything was ready waiting for us. We became excited again for this new adventure.
In December of that year we moved to our new home and spent our first Christmas holidays together. We met our new brother and grandparents. This was really amazing because we finally spent Christmas like children of our age, with a family, a home, and a Christmas tree with gifts by its foot.
The following spring, our parents organized a baby show during which we received a lot of gifts and met all of our new family and friends. We were really happy because we finally had the life we dreamed of.
This was the beginning of a new era for us. Going through this journey together really contributed in solidifying the bonds between Betty and I. Although we weren’t blood we were sisters. No matter how bad things around us got we knew that we always had each other and we always found comfort in that. We have different personalities but something that we do have in common is our love for God and the way we carry ourselves.
As we were getting adjusted to this new life, new culture and new people we realized that we were slowly forgetting about our past. We were slowly forgetting about where we came from and how we managed to get where we are today.
Growing up in the US was quite challenging for us because in America there were many things that we would see on social media and at school, that contradicted our beliefs and was against what we thought was right. Overall we felt like we needed to rise above what we were being exposed to. Regardless of what other people were doing we needed to do what we thought was right.
As we grew up we increasingly felt the need turn back to our origin, our cultures and values. We felt like something was missing from our life.We wanted the world to know where we came from and show them how proud we are of our origin.
That’s when we came up with Born in Africa. A brand to symbolize the connection to our roots, all while giving you something trendy, comfortable and exciting to wear.
We understood that we weren’t the only ones who came from Africa at a young age. We weren’t the only ones who missed where we came from and wanted to have somewhat of a connection to where we were born. We weren’t the only ones who wanted to show the world how proud we are of our culture and origin.
With the brand Born In Africa, we are going to provide that type of comfort and that sense of culture to those who need it, just as we needed and still do.