Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is This Over?

Everything was a blur for her.

Things had happened so quickly.

The pain of childbirth had been incredible - beyond what she had imagined - but the fear had not been there like she was used to when she experienced pain. This pain felt different. A thankful kind of different.

Someone with a strange voice, strange accent and strange words had helped her to the hospital. Someone had helped her get there, find her way through a very busy, bright place with lots of white, up the rising floor and to a different place - with more brightness and white. More strange voices and words met her there, led her to a room where she could be and helped her deliver her first child.

Did the baby have a name? No. She had to think over that for a while. She was thankful to remember hers - to know that it had not been taken from her. She wanted her daughter's name to be one that she could cherish.

Although Cristina did not know it, she had been diagnosed with gonorrhea while in the hospital. Her baby girl was able to be treated and Cristina would be treated and she would be healed from it. She was in Houston, Texas. She had been helped by an unknown woman to a nearby hospital. She had given birth to her baby girl and recuperated in the hospital as case workers and social workers tried to figure out what her story could possibly be. Through research and connections they were able to find someone who was able to speak Cristina's language. Through interviewing her and obstetrical examination, they were able to learn her story her quickly. Cristina had no passport, no identification, no belongings. Nothing but her name and now her baby.

The interpreter was able to communicate to Cristina that she had the option to go to a home - a safe place called Home of Hope. There she would receive rehabilitation, vocational training, education and long term care so she could choose to do what she wanted with her life. CHOOSE. There she would be a dignified human being. A dignified woman.

Cristina blinked. Anastasia was still sleeping. She was a week old now. Cristina still loved her name - a name that meant to stand up, to raise up. Cristina wanted the meaning behind her daughter's name to motivate strength and dignity right from the beginning. She wanted to make sure she would have that opportunity. That she would not share Cristina's experience.

Cristina was skeptical and afraid still to be in the home, but it was lovely. She was able to walk in and out freely. She was able to see kind, strong women in her presence. She was able to eat full meals and go to the bathroom when she chose. She was able to sleep - at night - and for as long as she wanted - uninterrupted except for Anastasia's cries. That was amazing. Even though the future was so uncertain for her, she felt that maybe, just maybe, she would have a reason to hope now.

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This story happens in the future. In the future a girl from Moldova and so many other countries will be trafficked. And she will wind up here. But there are organizations and opportunities happening and forming that will help her and give her hope. The Home of Hope in Texas is in formation now, but it and hopefully many other people like those creating it, will be there to rescue girls like Cristina. And give them hope.

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