Monday, August 15, 2011

Human Trafficking Part 2

The second organization that participated in the 'Night of Hope' event last week was Gracehaven.  This organization's mission is to to find and to free underage girls enslaved by child sex OHIO!!!! Not a million miles away...right here...within about 2 hours from where I live.  They have just finished renovations of house outside of Columbus, OH that will be able to house 10 girls at a time.  The focus is to provide home, hope, and healing for these girls.  They still need funding to get the house open.  Once they've done this...they want to replicate their work in Toledo and Cleveland.  Folks...this is the way to get involved right here in your own back yard.  Here's their website.  They are currently involved in a contest where they have the chance to win a lot of money for their project.  Visit here to vote for them to get the money.  You can vote 1 time per day.  You can also follow all of these charities on Facebook.  

In other exciting news...I just heard back from a judge in Columbus that is involved with ending human trafficking.  He wants me to call him.  I've also emailed a local judge, and an organization in our area that promotes awareness and programming to do the same.  I'm really excited :-)      

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Human Trafficking

Are you kidding me?!?!  Where in the world did this horrible atrocity come from????  The pit of hell...that's where.  No other being could be as crafty and evil as Satan.  It's a brilliant idea really...if you're looking to just take a woman made in the image of God and just smear her and degrade her to the depths of the pit of hell.  I can't even stand it.  It's an issue that the world cannot argue about.  There are no good sides of it.  There is no benefit.  I wish I could describe the details of how human trafficking is so horrible...but I'm afraid it would be too much to handle.  And...I don't think I even have the words.  So, instead...I want to share hope.

On Sunday, a dear friend and I took a little road trip to Columbus to attend "A Night of Hope".  The purpose of the event was to bring attention to the issue of human trafficking and highlight two local organizations and one international organization that were doing something about it.  So...I'm giving some free advertisement to these organizations.

The one that really tugged at my heart was As Our Own.  Pure and simple?  They adopt girls born in the brothels (hot commodities as they are) and raise their own.  (Does that not bring tears to your eyes?)  When these girls get married, they walk them down the aisle, when they go to college, As Our Own foots the bill, and when they come home for Christmas, they come home to the As Our Own family.  Ralph Borde (CEO of As Our Own) spoke that night and mentioned that the only hope that these women speak of is that one day their daughters would grow up and be able to take their place in the brothels.  Does that not make you crazy?!?!  This organization is changing all of that :-)  These girls are given the opportunity to not only survive, but to excel.  My guess is that these little ladies will be some of the best that India has to offer...and they will know Christ!  The stories shared are life changing...and I want to be part of everything they are doing.  Here's a link to their site.  I challenge you to get involved.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Yep, two posts in one day!  I've been thinking a lot about empathy lately.  A lot of people don't have it.  Most think that they do...but they don't.  I probably think I have it a lot of times and sometimes I really just don't.   Perhaps it is because we have a limited understanding of empathy.  One of my job descriptions as a counselor is to guide others in the process of making sense of their pain.  It requires empathy...a SKILL that one learns in grad school.  Interesting huh?  It's not necessarily a feeling...but a skill.  This means that we all have hope...hope in that we can learn to be empathetic.  Some people have a really difficult time understanding the difference between feeling with someone (empathy) and condoning what they are's like banging my head against the wall with some people trying to help them understand the difference.  When we can understand can make a world of difference.  

I was sitting in the waiting room of the sheriff's department a while back waiting for fingerprints for a background check.  An elderly woman walked up to the window and with a shaky voice asked if she could see her adult son who had apparently been arrested the previous night.  The desk clerk said "No, he cannot receive visitors for 24 hours".  The woman almost fell...and her friend (another elderly woman) reached out to steady her.  She asked if she could send him a message...the clerk replied with a firm tone..."No, not for 24 hours."  The woman began crying and saying "he's going to think that I don't care!".  Clerk lady just stared at her with a cold she wanted to say "next!".  I just heart breaking for the lady.  Another lady was sitting behind me hardly able to contain herself while she waited to speak to an officer about a restraining order that she had filed against her brother who continually tried to break into her home looking for drugs she had stashed.  She had young children and was scared out of her mind.  Her fear presented as anger...the clerk spoke to her as if she was stupid and didn't really give her any hope.  The clerk?  I actually felt sorry for her.  Had she had some empathy skills...she might not feel so overwhelmed with what apparently is a normal Monday morning at the sheriff's office.  I was able to interact with the woman sitting behind me.  I looked at her and said "are you okay?"  She began telling me her story again.  I said..."you sound really scared".  She seemed to calm down.  She said that she needed a cigarette.  I said "why don't you go outside, grab a cigarette, and I will let you know if they call your name..."  She said thanks...and ran outside.  No, I didn't change the world...I really didn't do as much as I wanted to.  But my heart just broke for these two women.  The truth was the truth...the elderly woman couldn't see her son for 24 hours (which was later that night...though the clerk didn't see the need to tell her that...).  The truth was that the restraining order was in process...but was slowed down because of the weekend.  But, a little empathy could have gone a long way in creating a calmer atmosphere.  I think sometimes we are afraid and/or uncomfortable with the other person's we don't know what to say or do with them.  The truth is that the other person doesn't need us to fix anything...they need us to listen.  To make it okay that they are feeling what they are feeling.  When we can can they.

What is your definition of empathy?  Have you ever been showed true empathy?

My life...

I know I say this every time...but WOW it's been a while since I've written anything here...I guess I kinda have my hands full.  Both kids are napping and I thought I'd sneak in quick blog post.  Today I was watching home videos of Micah (my almost 2 year old son) from when he was a baby.  My heart just broke a little as I realized how fast time has gone.  It also made me realize how my life has changed...and how challenging the last 2 years have been.  I can say with confidence that I am quite different than I used to be. Wow, do I love my kids.  Wow, do kids stretch you.  My temper isn't as short, I have a bit more patience.  I could be a breastfeeding expert given all of the trouble I've had with it.  I know how to make baby food.  Poop and vomit don't scare me.  I can function without sleep.  I'm content with my post-baby body.  I am no longer terrified of contractions...and I've pretty much had a natural birth.  I want to go to bed at 9 every night...and those kids who want to stay up until 11...well they are just too wild for me (wink, wink).  I'm a real grown up.  I used to feel guilty about staying in the house on a beautiful day...or staying in one room for the entire day doing nothing.  Now, that is my norm.  And I'm getting quite the workout.  There were times that I thought that I would never make it until my kids are 18...and I'm sure those feelings will return at times.  But, for the first time...I really feel like I can do it.  I'm usually quite the pessimist...but today I'm finding all kinds of positive things to say about my babies.

Micah, I love the way you speak in paragraphs...and no one has any idea what you are saying.  I love to hear you laugh.  I love it when you hug me...and pat me on the back with your little hand.  I love to see you dance.  I love it when my kisses make your boo boo's feel better.  You are my baby boy...and my stomach hurts when I think of how much I really love you.

Hannah, you are my sweet girl.  I couldn't imagine sharing my love with another baby...but you showed that I didn't have to.  I got to create new love for you.  You are so much different and much the same as your brother.  I love to hear you "talk".  I love how passionate and strong you already are (mommy's girl).  Your smile could make anyone have a better day.  I love to watch you watch your brother.  You already love him and I can sense the bond that the two of you will have as you grow up.  I love nursing you and having that time with just the two of us. I kinda wish you'd let me sleep more...but since I have to be up...I'm glad that its because I get to be with you.

Thanks, God for the gift of being a crazy mom to the most beautiful gifts in the world.