I Am From…

I am from the photographs that hang on my walls that tell stories of a lifetime of adventures that have changed me,

From journals that record my inmost thoughts to storybooks that take me places I’ve not traveled yet.

I am from a family of sarcastic truth-tellers and pranksters, but filled with fierce love for one another,

I am from the most fragrant form of Jasmine braided into my hair purchased from street vendors in India,

I’m from secrets kept of amazing adventures unless you know me well and ask me.

I am from the giant mimosa tree I grew up climbing in my grandparents yard whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I’m from large family Christmases and holidays, from homemade strawberry jam, and chicken and dressing made by grandmothers that no one could out-cook {nor get an exact recipe from}.

I’m from a family of tall-tale-ers that always made life an adventure, so I’m from a childhood spent in the yard with salt shakers chasing blackbirds with the belief that if I could shake salt on their tail that I could catch it and keep it. I’m from trying my darndest to not put my tongue in the hole left from a lost tooth with the belief that if I could accomplish it, then a gold tooth would emerge.  {I could go on forever}.

I’m from outspokenness and strength, and from brokenness and redemption.

I’m from intentionally missed turns and tall-tales of Indian mounds.

I’m from family filled with servicemen, so we are brave, had spit-shined shoes, and we respect our elders by saying no sir and yes ma’am.

I’m from forts built in the woods, 3-wheelers, front yard kickball, bottle-rocket wars, and ice bricks chipped out of driveways to make igloos.

I’m from mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

I am from family.

** This Post is Part of a Synchroblog from SheLovesMagazine

She’s Got the Brokedowns

“I made up my mind that day to trust, even though I didn’t have all the answers. I changed my Facebook job to say: Rescuer of Baby Girls in India.

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It’s January 2007, and I am in a bare concrete building in India, holding a 3-week-old baby girl. Her name is Vickey. She’s swaddled in a green towel, looking up at me with big brown eyes.

She has no idea how special her story is yet.

My friend, Anival, and I spend the day falling in love with her and 11 other little girls. When the day is over we hop into the Jeep with our Indian friend, Amal, for the trek back across the mountain to our hotel. Anival and Amal are in the front seat chatting away and I’m in the back seat, quietly sobbing. Finally, Amal looks back at me, sees me falling apart, and looks over at Anival to say,

“She’s got the brokedowns.”

I have no idea what word he is trying to say in English, and I decide not to ask. Because yes, in this moment, I feel very broken down.

I finally eek out, “Amal, if it weren’t for you and your brother, they’d all be dead . . .”

He replies, “Yeah.”

We ride the rest of the way back in silence.

On that ride home, in the cold Indian night air, a vision was birthed in my heart. I knew, without a doubt, I was meant to be a part of this work.

Please check out the rest of the story over at SheLoves Magazine