Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lives intersecting

My family, biological and adopted, are currently living in various places around the world. And so it always amazes me when one of us has an experience which connects to an experience of another.

Case in point....

My mom is an avid reader and she passes on her books to others. So when she finished reading The Road of Lost Innoncence by Somaly Mam, she promptly passed it on to me. Somaly Mam grew up in Cambodia being passed around from person to person. She was an outcast in her community and eventually sold as a child sex slave. Her story is not unusual in that part of the world. Her haunting book chronicles in horrific detail the life that so many young children live and the detachment the rest of society feels for these children. She writes about corruption and the kidnapping of her child in retaliation for the role she plays in rescuing these young children. Even though she has received international acclaim for her work, her organization still struggles to pay the bills. She won't turn away a single girl but she has had to shut down some of her facilities because of lack of funds.

My daughter is currently living in Thailand, a place most consider the center of the sex tourism trade. She is working with mentally and physically disabled children who are living in government run orphanages. As depressing as their future may be, it is certainly a much better alternative than being sold into sex slavery, which is quite common for children in their situation.

My son has a passion for playing music. He and his band recently played at a coffee house doing a fund raiser for Freedom 4/24. It is a ministry that tries to rescue women caught in the sex slave trade in Thailand. This organization buys the women for $24 which gives them 24 hours of freedom. In this time, they tell the girls about an alternative life style and what they can do to help them leave this life. They give them a place to hang out and just be girls for a night.

My youngest daughter had to do a media project for English. She chose childhood slavery and in particular, sex slavery. I wish I could show her final result. Her pictures and quotes are tragic and haunting.

I don't how this awareness of the sex industry around the world will affect our family long term. I do know that as a mother, I am eternally grateful that I don't have to make that choice between survival and selling my body or my daughters' bodies. I am thankful for the privilage of plenty. During this season of plenty and gluttony leading up to Christmas, I pray that we are able to enjoy our lives and yet still live responsibly.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Learning the basics

Last year when we moved to the Halifax area, I started volunteering with a literacy program for new immigrants to Canada. I had taught my own kids for 10 years and so even though I was nevous about working with adults who could barely speak English, I was excited and thought I would enjoy the experience.

It turns out, I do love it. And I've learned so much and it's fun to see the skills build each week. It's also very inspiring. These men and women come to Canada with skill sets that have served them well their entire lives and now they are completely useless. When was the last time you used scissors? We don't even think about it but most of these adult learners have never cut anything with scissors.

And when was the last time you wrote your child's name? Most of the new comers to Canada in this program don't have literacy in their first language and so don't have the basic skills to transfer over and learn English. I've been working one on one with a lady this fall and last week she was so proud of herself because she can now spell all of her children's names. When I look ahead and see how far she has to go to have a working literacy, it's dauanting. But if I just look at each week, I can see huge improvement and I see her determination and it's truly exciting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

October update

I know it's half way through November. Our e-mail provider has been having issues lately and apparently mail isn't always getting through. So, we just received our photos this weekend. Always fun to see what Melanie and the GLA staff come up with for their photo shoots. They're so cute.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We will remember

I've lived in small town Atlantic Canada for the past 22 years. Canadians are not generally known to be demonstrative in their patriotism, however, here in Atlantic Canada the poppies are on full display for weeks before Remembrance Day. And all of the small towns we've lived in have fully supported Remembrance Day Ceremonies. The crowds are large with young and old alike. Today I went with my husband to the Grand Parade in Halifax to show our support for the men and women who have served and who continue to serve Canada. The parade itself was not as large as I expected, however, there were men and women all throughout the crowd in uniform.

So on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I'm proud to be living in Atlantic Canada where people still take time to remember.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

2 months and counting...

It's hard to believe that Emily has already been gone for 2 months. This picture shows the last time I hugged my little girl. It sounds like she loves Thailand and is having some amazing experiences. We can't get enough of her adventures and feel so blessed by the miracle of Skype and email. However, I know that she really appreciates getting mail. There's just something special about receiving a letter or card from someone back home. So if anybody would like to write to her, I'll put the address here and on the sidebar.

Christian Care Foundation for Children
with Disabilities in Thailand
PO Box 47, Pakkred
Nonthaburi 11120