It took me twenty-seven years to redefine the term orphan. In one fell swoop, a sweet and feisty teenage girl maneuvered her way into my heart and hunkered down in all the uncomfortable places until I had no where else to look but up. She's been there ever since - a constant reminder of the internal shift that happened to me when she first grabbed my hand on that makeshift path to her school.
And here's my confession: I don't like to think about it. Right now, I'm sitting under no less than five blankets in a comfortable apartment. I just ate my fill of rice and chicken and although the neighbors can get kinda loud, I have no worries of men taking me when then sun falls beneath the horizon and I'm still fetching water.
So here I sit, the night before a day set aside to raise awareness for human trafficking, and I'm forced to reckon with the reality of girls (and boys) across the world deal with on a daily basis. Even more - these are children who have names. Faces. Voices. I see their smiles and I hear their laughter. I know them.
And more than anything in the world I want to protect them.
I'm over at Help End Local Poverty today in honor of National Human Trafficking Day. Come join the conversation?