"It was my first day at the village," remembers Shorena. "Late October of 1996. I was told the very first two children of SOS Children's Villages Georgia, two brothers called Simoni and Giorgi, will come to my house. I was overwhelmed with emotions which were unknown to me until that moment. I was happy and scared at the same time."
"The first thing I did the morning before they came was go to the market and buy sweets. I bought loads of candies, chocolate bars, lollipops, sugar sticks, whatever I could find," she remembers.
"Simoni and Giorgi came in the afternoon. We spent some time getting to know each other. They chose a room, we had dinner and then they 'attacked' the candy," smiles Shorena. "We really had fun, but I could feel it would take time for them to get used to me. Clearly, the sweets helped them loosen up."
The magic word
"I was thinking about my actions that night. I lay in bed awake doubting whether I had done the right thing, whether they liked me at least one little bit, when all of a sudden I heard Simoni calling for me. I was startled at first because he yelled 'mum!' At his second cry I rushed to his room.
He was sick from all the candies. I looked after him, got him back to bed and went to sleep the happiest person on Earth. My boy called me mum on the first day! I was in seventh heaven," says Shorena.
The truth about mum
"It was about three or four years later," she continues. "Our 'SOS family' had grown by five more members. We were a noisy bunch always ready for a good laugh. One day we were sitting in the village yard remembering old events, when Simoni brought up the first day. It was then that I first heard what really happened."
Simoni needed help but he had forgotten Shorena's name. He asked Giorgi, who couldn't remember, either. Then Giorgi told him to try calling her mum because someone mentioned that day that this woman would be their mother. "And that's why Simoni called me mum," laughs Shorena.
Simoni and Girogi still call Shorena mum. Only now they call her mum with all their heart.