Carried Alone

I watch her–across the crowd–this tall awkward beauty. She’s the girl a visitor might not remember–no big personality or shining grades or showy talent. She is quiet, and I’ve watched her stand, so often,


And, tonight, she has risked. This dark-skinned girl, finding refuge at Breanna’s House, wants to learn the dance with the others. And, the team of Americans shows steps, and she tries to keep up. But, her arms seem too long and her feet seem two steps behind.

And, then, another girl whispers. Perhaps a criticism, maybe a bully-instruction to do better. Girls are girls, everywhere, after all.

And, this awkward beauty is sunk low.

Tears form. Emotion made raw. And, we catch eyes, and I’ve seen it. And, she knows I have.

But, the music has started now, and she doesn’t have the luxury of wallowing. And so, she struggles through mistimed steps and timid turns. She grits teeth and blinks back weakness and pulls armor around.

And then, the lesson finishes.

And, she files out with the rest–the chatter of the crowd filling the humid night air.

And,  the comment, the insecurity, the struggle,

is borne alone,

by awkwardly beautiful shoulders.

And, my car drives away, but my heart doesn”t. My thoughts can”t either, because I know I”ve peeked into a daily, stretching-into-years reality for this young teenager. And, I wonder how her life, her confidence, her view of God would be different if she got to taste the evening like my own daughter, who also danced that night, and who rode in the backseat,


chatting all the way,

to a mother who listened,

and loved.

I wonder.

And, I think that perhaps, if she had, she wouldn”t have been so scared to dance in the first place.

From hands that help run the orphanage to hands that take the orphan home, let me say thank you. Your rescue of a child from the crowd, is such an important way to love. There is no substitute for a family.


Laura Parker and Family

Laura, her husband, and their three small children currently live in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they direct a Children”s Home for orphaned, homeless, or impoverished girls. Laura is able to write honestly about what it means to love orphans from the other side of the adoption coin. She has written articles for Relevant Magazine, {In}Courage, and several other online sites, and chronicles their journey in the jungle at Laura Parker {Life Overseas}. The Children”s Home they direct is Breanna”s House of Joy. Her Twitter is @Lauraparkersays.

6 thoughts on “Carried Alone

  1. Molly

    Wow…I’m so glad our Heavenly Father sees her too…and loves her and has a plan for her. Though it’s obvious she can’t yet see or maybe even feel it.

  2. Lisa A

    Beautiful. Oh how I wish we could twitch our nose and give EVERY CHILD A FAMILY. My daughter and I attended the “Disney on Ice” show the other night. It included a segment from Shiloh and Stitch–i was reduced to tears and my heart ached when they said, over and over again, “Family means no one is left behind!”

    May God grant all Orphans one day a Family-through the grace of FAMILIES around the world! I pray. I pray.


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