221029 Joseph XX, 5th Grade, Male

Translated by Nie Xu Min

My family was poor. My father was unemployed. He was illiterate and no one was willing to hire him. When my mother was four-month pregnant with me, there was no rice at home, nothing at all.

My father was struggling and did not know what to do. One day, he told my mother, "Don't worry and just take care of yourself. I'll go out and look for a job." He asked my sister, "My child, please take good care of your mother and your brother." At that time, my sister was only 5 years old.

My father went out after that. He came back at 8 pm and brought back a lot of food. Mother felt suspicious and asked my father, "Where did you get the money to buy so many things? Was there something you did not tell me?" My father replied, "No. What would I hide from you?" My mother was not feeling well and didn't ask more. It went on for a few days. Every day, my father went out early and returned home late, and brought back a lot of things.

One day after more than a week, my father didn't come back home. At almost 12 o'clock during the evening, someone knocked at the door. My mother immediately opened the door. But it was not my father at the door. It was two policemen.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" my mother asked.

"Are you Mrs. Ella?" the policeman asked.

"Yes."

"Please come with us."

Mother didn't say anything more. She took my sister to my aunt's house. Then she dragged her big belly to the police station. Only then did she find out that my father was dealing drugs. My mother didn't blame my father. She knew that my father did it for our family.

My parents were locked up in different cells. On June 11th, 2007, my mother gave birth to me in prison. We spent four years there before we were released.

My mother was having a difficult time. She could not afford to send us to school. When I was 5 years old and my sister was 9, my mother sent us to the Sun Shine Home to study. There has been no news about my father. My sister told me, "You must try to be a good person and study hard. No matter how difficult it is, as long as you have the opportunity to study, you must cherish it!"