Friday, July 29, 2011

10 years today

I can't believe it's been 10 years since I told you goodbye. 10 years since I heard your laugh... felt your hug... listened to you sing, so beautifully....... 10 years since I was able to call you on the phone to talk about my day... my latest accomplishment... my dreams.

10 years.

Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday you were here, and then I realize just how long it has been. How much has happened.... how much has changed... and how much we've all been missing you.

I looked for a picture of me and you for this blog, and I realized I don't have any here - they're all in Alabama. And the more I thought of it - I realized I don't have very many pictures of us at all. All the "big events" that you take important pictures of children and their grandmothers at... well, you weren't there for those. My high school graduation. My college graduation. And of course.... my wedding day.

You're missing from all those pictures. And you were missing from so many special days. There was a void because you weren't there. And sometimes, that still makes me angry.... because I would've given anything to have you there! 60 was much too young to die... although, at 17, I didn't realize just how young 60 was. And at 17, I didn't realize there would ever be a day when you weren't here. I wish I had cherished our time together so much more. I am struggling these days to hang on to some of my memories of you that seem to be fading.

I wish you could've been there for all my important days! You would have loved to watch the AU Singers perform - I know you would have been there front and center at every show I was in! You always loved music. You would have just been "tickled pink" (to use your words) the day I won my first Miss America Organization title, and I know you would have worn my pin and held a sign every night at the Miss Alabama pageant (both years!) You always were my biggest fan!

Most of all though, I wish you could've been there for my wedding day. You would like Rusty a lot - he makes me laugh (and you loved to laugh!), he's handsome (you never approved of guys who weren't "good looking enough"), and he doesn't have any tattoos or earrings - haha! April 18th would have been a special day for us. You would have loved all the music in our ceremony - all the singers and musicians were so talented! And you would have loved wedding planning with me and Mom, and dress shopping with us. We missed you a lot on the day we picked out "the dress".

I think of you a lot as a married woman.... there are so many things I wish I could talk about with you! I wish I could've shown you our first home. You'd really like the cool air in Michigan! I think you might have wanted to move in and spend your summers with us! I'm sure you'd like our dishes - since I found that old brown pitcher of yours that just happens to match them perfectly. (I couldn't have planned it better!) That pitcher is on display in my kitchen now. Every time I see it I remember a spring afternoon when I was arranging daffodils in it for your kitchen table. You told me I really "had a knack for that" flower arranging. I think of you and smile now each time I cut and place flowers in any arrangement.

I really should stop typing this sappy letter... especially since I've been crying since I wrote the first paragraph. I really thought that in time, I wouldn't miss you so much! That maybe, as the years passed, the pain would lessen. But it isn't true at all... the pain has become more bearable, and my life has gone on, but the void is still there.

No one ever takes the place of someone you love, and nothing can erase what they meant to you. Today, 10 years have passed, but I still miss you. I guess, I should be thankful for that - because it proves how special you were to me. All it takes is the sound of a certain song... the sight of a yellow daffodil... or the scent of a "fireball cherry pie" and I think of you. Your memory comes rushing back and I find myself sharing a story about you with my husband - either laughing or crying through it! I've missed you terribly lately... I guess because I knew this day was coming up.

We all miss you. Nothing is the same without you here! 

We all think of you, even though you're gone. When I'm having a bad day or I'm not feeling well, I always remember what you used to say, "Just get up, get ready, and put your makeup on, and you'll feel better!" And you know... usually I do ;) I think of you and your love of life often.... the way you were always smiling or laughing or singing. I think of the fact that I got my voice from you, and I'm thankful. I daydream about when I have children, and how I'll teach them all your sweet little songs.... especially the one you always sang to me! "Oh, You Beautiful Doll".... I never realized until a few years ago how much you sounded like Rosemary Clooney! I hear her sing and I close my eyes and it's you.

You were such a special part of so many lives. I don't know why you had to go when you did.... and I'm not sure I'll understand it this side of heaven. All I know is that we were lucky to have you as long as we did. I hope that I keep the sparkle in my eyes that you had until your very last day. We love you! We miss you! I can't wait until the day I can see you again. We have a lot to catch up on you know! ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family Celebrations

Celebrate good times, come on! Okay... I won't sing, but we have had some fun things to celebrate around here! Unfortunately, it all came in the middle of 2 very stressful months (as in 2 family members in 3 hospitals 5 times...and that's not even all of it!), and I never got to blog about it. So... I thought I'd post a few of my favorite pictures from our latest Family Celebrations! Namely - my brother Brent's wedding, and my Grandfather's 80th Birthday Party!

Congratulations Brent & Melissa!

My brother Brent and his girlfriend (now wife!) Melissa have been dating since their 1st day of Freshman year at Auburn. They finally tied the knot in Birmingham on May 21st!

Here's me and my handsome husband at the Wedding Rehearsal....

My Aunt Angie, Uncle Britt, Rusty, and me outside the chapel before the wedding began...

The happy couple as they were introduced at their reception...

My date for the night (and forever), taking me for a spin on the dance floor!

I wish we had more pictures to share! The ceremony was in a chapel that was pretty dark inside, and we were sitting off to the side (because I sang for the wedding), so we didn't get very many good shots there. And unfortunately, my baby brother had to be taken to the Emergency Room and admitted to the hospital right after the shot (above) was taken. So, I didn't get any good pictures of me and my brothers or parents! Sad! All things considered though, it still turned out to be a lovely night.


Happy 80th Birthday Grandaddy!

On Father's Day (June 19th) we surprised my grandfather with a huge party to celebrate his 80th birthday. My Mom & Aunt Tammy had been working on it for months - inviting everyone in town and all his friends from around the country. Unfortunately, he was admitted to the hospital 3 different times in the weeks leading up to this party. We were afraid he wasn't going to make it! But my stubborn Granddaddy would not be stuck in bed... he was home by the day before the party, and made it to the event on time. Did I mention, he was CLUELESS about what was going on? I wish I had a good picture of his face when he walked into the room and saw all his old friends and family. He was SHOCKED to say the least!

We spent the afternoon eating cake and visiting with the many dear people who came out to celebrate my Grandfather. It was like a HUGE family reunion! I couldn't believe how many people showed up! It was great to catch up with people who have meant so much to my family over the years. Granddaddy looked like a little kid at Christmas - smiling from ear to ear all afternoon. He also got to see a slideshow of pictures, from the time he was a baby until now. Rusty worked so hard on it and it turned out great!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day.....

Grandaddy with all the grandkids  -
my brother Brent, me, my cousin Breeanna, and my brother Jaron.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog Makeover!

If you haven't noticed, things are looking a lot different around here! Since I've been sick, I figured I'd take advantage of my time on the couch by re-doing the look of my blog.

I've never really been happy with the way this blog looked - I always thought the background was waayyy too busy. Unfortunately, when I set it up last January I had too much on my plate to spend a lot of time on it. I was busy preparing to leave for Thailand, creating our little website (, helping Rusty set up a new blog, working on The Sound of Hope blog, and trying to get this blog ready before we left.... so after messing with it for a little while, I gave up and just left it alone.

But after seeing how it looks now, I'm so glad I re-visited the design! I also added a little "about" section that I might expand later, and I updated my settings for any of you who want to read my blog on your smart phone. I think the background makes it so much easier to read, and I really like the new color scheme. I'm still new to blogger, and an "html-er" I am not - so this is the best I can do right now as far as makeovers go. Someday I'd like a more personalized header, and I'd really like to create categories you can click on to read all my posts on, say, Thailand for instance (is that possible in blogger?) - but for now, I'm happy with my little improvements!

What do you think about my blog makeover?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wisdom from a 19 year old...

My baby brother Jaron is no stranger to sickness. When he was 12, he developed Ulcerative Colitis, and spent the better part of 2 years in Children's Hospital. At one point he was taking 31 pills a day, and getting IV treatments through a port in his chest. Eventually, he had to have major surgery to have his colon removed. So, when it comes to "suffering" he has some serious wisdom to pass on (well beyond his 19 years!)

I thought I'd share the scriptures he sent me last night....

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9:1-3
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. [...]
1 Peter 3:13-14a
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:17
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:13
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another rough week.

It's been a rough few days. At 9 AM this morning we were back in, yet another, doctor's office...

I have a bunch of crazy issues/symptoms that have been popping up the past week and a half and I just couldn't function anymore without treatment. And so, for the millionth time this year, (okay, maybe the 7th or 8th) I explained all my medical issues to another doctor, went through another exam, had more blood drawn, and labs have been ordered.

The doctor thinks maybe all these crazy symptoms are connected and "wants to get to the bottom of it". Praise the Lord - because I thought I was losing my mind! My husband has jokingly nicknamed me "Job", because the last week and a half I've woken up with a new sickness or symptom everyday....*sigh.

My doctor thinks I either have a viral infection of some sort, or maybe a parasite, or a serious food allergy that hasn't been identified.... or possibly all of the above. Did I mention this is entirely separate from the other issues I've been having for the past year? The issues I've gone to 5 doctors in 2 states and 2 countries for? That was diagnosed as IBS 6 weeks ago. This is something (or multiple things?) new.

Lord, help me.

I am trying to stay positive. I am trying to be thankful and to count my blessings. I am thankful that I have a really good (thorough, compassionate) doctor here that I love. I am thankful we're not traveling right now. I am thankful my doctor was in on a Saturday, and that the process to "get to the bottom of this" has begun. I am thankful that the nurse who took my blood was beyond incredible and I seriously did not even feel the needle! For the first time in 27 years I didn't get hysterical when I had to have blood drawn.... so there's something positive to celebrate!

I am trying to focus on TRUTH - who God is, that He has a purpose for my life, that He CAN heal me, and that He is in control. But... we just can't seem to catch a break...not just with my health, but also in quite a few other areas of our life. I know there is a lesson in this, but I don't know what it is. I am just praying for God to sustain me, and trying to remember that my JOY and PEACE do not come from my circumstances.

But I won't lie.... it's hard. Today, we feel defeated and alone and depressed. I haven't slept in 2 nights and physically, I feel miserable. If you wouldn't mind lifting up a prayer for me, and for Rusty, we sure would appreciate it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things :: Summer Edition

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things..."

Don't you just love that song from The Sound of Music? I do, and it's inspired a new blogging topic called, "A Few of My Favorite Things"! My plan is to do a post for my "favorite things" each season - Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. Over time, I might expand and post other "favorite things" here and there. I'd love it if you'd do your own blog of summertime "favorite things" and leave the link in a comment so I can read yours too!

#1 - Fresh cut flowers 

Okay.... to be honest, I love fresh flowers in my house year-round, but there's something about summer colored floral arrangements actually in the summer! My favorites are these orange/coral roses or bright pink roses (with just about anything!), blue and white arrangements (roses, hydrangeas, delphinium, etc), and any combination of yellow and purple (daffodils, statice, sunflowers, irises, roses, lavender, etc). And to save money, I'll even cut wildflowers from the back yard. There are few things happier than a daisy!

I am in love with this new rose bowl (also called a flower frog) that my husband and I found antiquing a few weeks ago. (Okay...okay... I was antiquing. Meanwhile, my husband was playing with the fake sword in the antique shop and giving me a heart attack by how close he was getting to all the breakables!) I'd been looking for one ever since my friend from college, James, wrote about them on his blog. A rose bowl is the PERFECT way to ensure a full floral arrangement, and it looks great on my end table! I wasn't wild about the base at first, as I was looking for something more formal (see - heavy silver bowl) but it's growing on me. I'm hoping I'll find a couple more that I like better on future antiquing trips :)

#2 - Hammocks

Who doesn't love a hammock? There are few things more peaceful than swinging lazily in a hammock in the summer sun, staring up at a bright blue sky. Honestly, I feel more peaceful just seeing my hammock outside on the back porch! When it's there, that means it's officially summer!

#3 - Petites Tahitian Green nail polish

I got this little bottle of polish for 98 cents at WalMart, and I am in LOVE with it! I'm pretty much obsessed with green right now - specifically emerald green or that lovely turquoise color that's everywhere these days. When I saw this color I just had to have it! It reminds me of the color of the ocean in Thailand, and it's just so much fun for summer. I've only tried it on my toes though - not sure if I'd like green fingernails!

                                           #4 - A Thai Two-Piece

I hate swimsuit shopping. Who doesn't?! It is torture of the cruelest kind! Even in college - when I had a personal trainer, killer abs, and was winning swimsuit awards in Miss Alabama preliminaries (those were the days! *sigh) I still hated swimsuit shopping! I could try on 50 suits and maybe, just maybe, find one I liked. There's just way too much that can go wrong when that much of your body is exposed! So when I saw this gorgeous green and black print (did I mention I am loving green right now?) in the night market in Thailand, I was almost too afraid to buy it! It was so pretty, but the odds of buying a swimsuit from a street vendor (without trying it on) and having it fit (much less look good) were pretty slim. Still - at $10 - I just couldn't resist. Imagine my surprise when I got home and it not only fit - it was the most flattering, comfortable swimsuit I'd ever owned! I especially love the fact that
it's strapless - so no more terrible tan lines to deal with!

                                     #5 - Arbonne's "Awaken" lotion

There is one thing I HATE about summer - those blasted mosquitoes! But I also hate putting bugspray full of harmful pesticides on my skin (did you know everything you put on your skin absorbs into your bloodstream in 26 seconds?! Eek!) and the smell of citronella (which is in almost every natural bug repellent). So it seems I had 3 options - get eaten by mosquitoes, put harmful pesticides on my skin, or smell like disgusting citronella.... until now!

Several years ago, some other Arbonne consultants told me that the Awaken lotion (formulated as an aromatherapy line) kept away mosquitoes. Naturally, I was skeptical. If it didn't have pesticides or citronella, how would it work?! So - a friend of mine and I tested it for ourselves in India - against mosquitoes that didn't just BITE - they also carried malaria. Turns out - those women were RIGHT! Apparently, mosquitoes don't like the scent of lavender or lemon peel oil. This amazing lotion that smells fresh and summery (and isn't strong at all!) actually did keep the mosquitoes away - as long as it was applied to ALL my exposed skin. I was THRILLED! Now I recommend it to everyone, especially my friends with kids! It's my go-to summer lotion. And the good news for guys is - it doesn't smell "girly" at all, so you can use it too!

            #6 - Summer Reading

Go ahead.... call me a dork, or a bookworm, but I miss my childhood "Summer Reading Programs"! Not the terrible literature forced on me by my high school teachers or college professors (okay, it wasn't all bad... but I hate being forced to read something I didn't choose!) but the programs put on by local libraries to encourage kids to read during their summers off. My mother used to enroll us kids in BOTH programs - at the Anniston and Oxford Public Libraries. There were summers I'd read 80 books (40 for each library) and I couldn't have been happier!

Sadly, over time reading for fun has been put on the backburner. I blame my Southern English professor for forcing me to read an entire semester of books I HATED my senior year of college. I never fully recovered! So - this summer - I'm doing something about it. I'm making time to read for fun  - even if it's just a few chapters before bed every night. Last week I started "I Still Dream About You" by Fannie Flag. It's a fictional story (that I'm loving!) about a former Miss Alabama and it's set in Birmingham. It only took about 4 chapters before I was homesick for Alabama and missing my Miss Alabama Pageant friends!

#7 - These pictures....

I'll finish this off with one of my favorite summer pictures of me and my husband. Okay... maybe two of my favorites (I couldn't choose between them!) These were taken by Rosie Gearhart, who hired us to model for her iStock portfolio. I'm pretty sure we have a picture for every season thanks to her - and I'll do my best to pick my favorite and share it with you on a similar blog in Fall, Winter, and Spring too!

I just love these shots. We were so genuinely happy here... we laughed a lot that day!

Okay - your turn! What are your favorite things for summer?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Today is Nelson Mandela's 93rd birthday! Because he is such a remarkable man, I felt it was important to write a blog today dedicated to him.

You may have learned a little bit about Nelson Mandela's life if you watched the beautiful movie "INVICTUS" released in 2009.  Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against racist apartheid rule, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. When he took over leadership of South Africa, it was his humility, love, and constant striving for peace and equality that helped unify and heal his country.

He is full of wisdom and has shared so much inspiring advice over the years. I am anxious to buy a copy of the new book "Nelson Mandela by Himself" - which was released by his foundation today.

Lately, I've been reflecting on this quote from Mandela:
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
I can think of nothing more true. This is why we work so hard when we are overseas to learn the local language. Whether it is Afrikaans, Xosa, or Telugu - I do my best to at least learn how to greet someone and to say Thank You. I will never forget the day I met an Indian man in Thailand, and mis-spoke to him in Thai. When he told me he was from India (not Thailand) I asked him what area. When he said Andhra Pradesh and I responded with "Thank You" in his native tongue, I thought he would pass out from shock! His eyes lit up, and he grabbed his chest as the biggest smile spread across his face. A few moments later we were sharing stories and laughing like old friends, and he was offering to buy myself and my husband drinks!

Of course, in the countries we work in regularly, we are trying to learn as much of the language as possible. We've learned enough Thai to get around town, and enough siSwati to have simple conversations, and I'm hoping I can learn more Hindi when we return to India this fall. It's a lot of work, but it is so worth it when we see the joy (and surprise!) in the faces of the locals we meet. There are so few westerners who have cared enough to even try to learn their language... so when we do, it is a sign of love and respect.

I heard an interview with a white typist who worked in the President's office when Mandela won the position in 1994. She talked about the day she met Mandela in the hall, and he began to speak to her in Afrikaans, which is considered the "white people's language" (and was the language of Mandela's prison guards). She shared that when he spoke her language to her, she was so surprised and overwhelmed that she began to cry. What a beautiful story of what humility, love, and hard work can do!

I hope today, you will celebrate the birthday of this incredible man by choosing to love and serve those around you, as he has for so many years. I'll leave you with a few more of his beautiful quotes. Happy Birthday Mr. Mandela!

"It is in your hands to make our world a better one for all, especially the poor, vulnerable and marginalized" - Nelson Mandela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Nelson Mandela
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” - Nelson Mandela
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Nelson Mandela

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Nelson Mandela

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” - Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” - Nelson Mandela

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela

"As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility."  - Nelson Mandela

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Billboard Sighting!

About a week ago, a friend of Rusty's from 8th grade sent him this picture....

Apparently, we are on a billboard in Wheeling, West Virginia! This is our 2nd billboard sighting, but we didn't get to see the first one (it was a Christmas billboard a few hours away in Michigan, but our friend Jordan wasn't able to get a picture before it was taken down).

I was very glad to see us connected to such a positive message, since we don't have any say in how our iStock* photos are used! I'm still so afraid we'll end up like Joey in that episode of friends....(you know the one... what a nightmare!) Our photos have already ended up as spam once, and on for "How to have a better Sex Life in 2011"  so... you just never know!

Most of the time though, they end up in really fun places. As my friend Katie says - it's like a big game of "Where's Waldo" ;) So, thanks to all of you who've sent us pictures, screenshots, newspaper clippings, or magazines you've found our photos in.  Without you, we'd never know where these shots end up!


*For those of you who don't know, Rusty and I were hired last year by our friends Shawn & Rosie who are iStock photographers. We were starting our own non-profit and were looking for ways to make extra money, when this (very unique) opportunity arose. It's been a lot of work some days, but so much fun! I've been a rockstar, a renaissance queen, a nerd, a nurse, a cowgirl, a cook, a businesswoman, and a bride... among others! You can see our lightbox of photos here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

U2 + The US Campaign for Burma

On July 2nd, Rusty & I, our Thailand partners, Ray & Candace Ward, two of our new board members for The Sound of Hope (and dear friends) Annah Grace & Shelley,  and several other friends (Jefforey, Jake, & Sean) got the incredible opportunity to volunteer with the US Campaign for Burma at the U2 concert in Nashville, TN.

We spent the day raising awareness for the human rights abuses happening in Burma, and urging people to take action on behalf of those suffering.

There's a reason we all came together to volunteer for this cause. What's happening in Burma is more than just a random injustice to us. This cause is close to our hearts because of the Karen refugee children we care for in Thailand who have fled Burma. So we were thrilled to find out that Bono, the lead singer of U2 and an outspoken human rights activist, is a staunch supporter of of Aung San Suu Kyi and the US Campaign for Burma!

Check out the video below to see highlights from our day. You'll also see some great shots of the U2 Concert, including Bono's response to Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest! (Click here to see a larger version of the video in HD.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Casey Anthony verdict...

I didn't follow the Casey Anthony trial. I knew the basic premise - a 2 year old little girl died, and her mother was involved in some sort of "foul play" after the fact. Was her mother guilty or not guilty of actually killing the child? I don't know (again, the sentence above is all I know about the whole situation) - but I DO know the verdict.


I know this verdict because about 98% of my facebook friends posted a status about it - ENRAGED at the injustice of it all. It completely took over my mini-feed - every other post was about this issue.  Men and women - from all different walks of life - quickly let the world know how UNFAIR it was. They spoke up on behalf of this precious little girl - Caylee - whose life was taken from her too soon. They screamed for JUSTICE.

And all I could think was.... why don't I hear these people speak up for the millions of little girls like Caylee around the world who suffer injustice EVERY DAY?!

Don't misunderstand me - all of you who got upset about the outcome of this trial aren't wrong. Your hearts are in the right place. You are experiencing righteous anger on behalf of an innocent child. You are fighting for something wonderful! My question is - if you're passionate about all those things, why not do something now for children in need of PROTECTION and JUSTICE in Africa? India? Thailand? Burma? Children that you can actually HELP?

The world loses a child EVERY 4 SECONDS. That's 22,000 children dying every day, mostly from preventable causes. That means that because of a lack of simple things like clean drinking water or cheap vaccines, in third world countries there are children dying left and right. EVERY DAY. Is that JUSTICE?

In Thailand, prostitution is a multi-billion dollar industry. Thailand's Health Systems Research Institute estimates that over 40% of the prostitutes in Thailand are CHILDREN. That means EVERY DAY thousands of children are sold into sex-slavery and raped for profit. Is that JUSTICE?

In Africa, little girls can be raped and abused by men who have AIDS, and infected by this horrible disease against their will... and NO ONE FIGHTS FOR THEM. Is that JUSTICE?

In India, many little girls are devalued, and left on the street to fend for themselves. They are unwanted and uncared for - forced to live as beggars or prostitutes. Very few of them have an opportunity for an education, and some are married off as child brides to men 6 times their age. Is that JUSTICE?

In Burma, little girls are forced to fight as child soldiers, or they are sold to drug-traffickers or sex-traffickers. Often they are victims of systematic rape by the military, and can be forced to work as minesweepers or human shields in warfare. Is that JUSTICE?

I am dreaming of a day, someday, when my facebook mini-feed will be taken over by men and women, from all different walks of life - crying out on behalf of the orphan. I am dreaming of a day when people are ENRAGED by the plight of children in need - children who are vulnerable to rape, slavery, disease, and war. I am dreaming of a day when all around me all I see is people demanding JUSTICE for these precious kids. Because, just like little Caylee, they deserve better.


If this makes you want to DO SOMETHING, then consider giving here to protect children in Thailand, India, Africa and Burma.