The Fingerprints of God// Brooke’s Story, Part III.

Brooke’s Story… Part 1 and Part 2. Read these first. : )

From my journal:
September 4, 2011:
“…in my head I know there is purpose in me being at Samford and that my time spent here is not a “waste”…but Lord, I need you to make that clear to my heart. Because my heart wants to be in China- loving on my kids. I want to scream every time someone says ‘Oh, I bet that was fun’..because I want them to understand how so much more than ‘fun’ it was. How do I adequately communicate how China wrecked my life in such a good way; opened my eyes to my culture’s (and my own) materialism and greed; grew my heart to passionately love 40 of the most precious children in all the world? How can I ever go back to “normal”? Lord, I miss my little Brooke. I know she is being loved and cared for in the foster home but God she needs a family of her own. Please help her little heart to continue to learn to trust and love- prepare her heart for the family that is going to be SO blessed by her. Lord, I selfishly want to see her again, if I get the chance to go back to New Day next summer…but I know she NEEDS a family. I pray she will be matched to the most perfect family who will love her even more than I do…and maybe let me find their blog so I can follow her journey home. :)…”
Who could have EVER thought that we would be the family writing her story on the blog for her journey home?
Only God.
God is so funny- I can just picture Him laughing as I would write/pray/think these things. The amazing way that Brooke came to be a part of our family is nothing short of miraculous- and every.single.thing was God’s confirmation over and over again that she was indeed my parents’ daughter; my precious sister.
Now, I’ve probably been begging asking my parents to adopt another baby since the day we stepped of the plane from China following Erica’s adoption. I watched waiting child lists like nobody’s business, nonchalantly asking my parents which special needs they would consider, emailing pictures of the little precious darlings I would find (always to dad…he’s the softie), and pointing out EVERY adoption blog I could find to them…you know, just to keep it fresh on their mind. I even had an account on RainbowKids, an online advocacy site for special needs children. This is dangerous, my friends. Very dangerous. Especially when you still have 10+ years until you can adopt for yourself… After five (FIVE) years of keeping this up, I was pretty convinced it would never really happen. God was really calling me to China, and opened doors all over the place for me to spend my summer at New Day Foster Home. My parents were, of course, thrilled for me and they knew that this would be a life-changing summer for me. However…my mom did have one “prayer request” that she would say as a joke- “Pray that Meredith doesn’t come home with a baby for us to adopt!! We are done!”.
Ha. That’s funny.
Brooke thinks its funny too.
On September 7, 2011, my wonderful friend Faith sent me a precious picture of little Cai Wei. It was the most precious picture I had EVER seen of her…and I, obviously, forwarded it to my parents. The weekend before happened to be Labor Day, so I was home and spent the weekend showing them I had taken of Brooke all summer, because I missed my girl so much. That’s a lot of videos, ya’ll.) They knew good and well who little Cai Wei was, and I knew they loved her and prayed for her. However, I was SHOCKED by the response I got back from my dad literally 10 minutes after sending the picture.
“Tell them we want her!”
The picture from Faith that was immediately forwarded to my dad.
WHAT. Well. Being my ever logical self, I immediately called my parents (dad) and informed them that Brooke probably wouldn’t be paper ready for awhile…and that it’s basically “impossible to ‘find’ a file”. Dad responded with “Well, we’ll call the adoption agency and talk about starting a homestudy. Just in case we do ever start another adoption”. Wow.
Email from my dad: Tell them we want her!! (yes, of course I saved it!)
The next day, my sweet friend Allie had asked me to go get coffee with her. She asked to hear about China- “real” China. Not the cliché “Oh, it was so great and I had such a wonderful time!” that I was used to
quickly sharing…she sat me down and just said “TALK”. It was wonderful. I told her all about China- the good, the bad, the ugly. I told her about the struggles I had coming back to America and the re-adjustment. And finally, I told her about Brooke. How I missed her, how HARD it was to win her over..but how special our relationship was once she finally trusted me. And then Allie asked to see a picture. More than happy to oblige, I pulled out my computer, and as iPhoto was opening, my email dinged with 1 unread mail message. Just one. I opened it real quick just to see if it was anything important…and it was an email from RainbowKids, an online advocacy site for thousands of children available for adoption. Ya’ll, I had got to the point where I would literally just delete those emails without even opening them. It would kill me to see those sweet faces and not be able to bring them home! It had been months since I had opened one of those emails. For some reason, I felt a gentle nudging to open that email- an announcement that a little girl named “Caroline” had been added to the list. As I entered my username and password into the the RK site, waiting for my iPhoto to load, I was in the middle of telling Allie “…This is Brooke…isn’t she such a chubby little diva?!?!”- when all of a sudden, the page loaded. I swear all the blood drained from my brain because I immediately developed a stutter and was incoherently screaming/crying/blubbering to Allie.
“Caroline”…aka BROOKE
It. Was. Brooke. My Brooke. I knew it immediately.
The picture I saw of Brooke on the RK site- absolutely beautiful.


Poor Allie. What a friend. It took a good 5 minutes for me to make coherent sense of what exactly was going on….and our calm, collected coffee date immediately turned into a mad dash of rushed explanations and tears. I was on the phone with my dad about .05 seconds later, and China about 2 minutes after that. I wish someone could have recorded that call. I was a basket case. I don’t even think I gave him a word in edge-wise. “It’s Brooke. You need to call. Adoption agency. Adopt her. Phone number. Keep calling!!! IT’S BROOKE.” I don’t even think I explained how or where I had seen her file. Poor Allie (and the rest of the Samford food court) just sat there and stared as I was having a nervous breakdown over the phone.
One problem. It was 8 PM and the adoption agency she was listed with was closed. CLOSED. There were hundreds of scenarios running through my mind. I just knew her file had already been locked- with a face that cute who WOULDN’T have scooped her up right away? I contacted everyone I knew that was related to the adoption world in the smallest way- trying to see if there was any secret phone number that gets to this adoption agency no matter what time (FYI…There is not.)
Once again…poor Allie. The girl was a God-send. I was a basket case, but she, while still utterly confused as to what in the WORLD was wrong with me, started praying- prayed that we would be able to get in contact with the agency that had Brooke’s file. That we would be first to be able to review it. That I would trust God in His perfect plan no matter what the outcome. Whew. Needless to say…I was on pins and needles. Mom and Dad assured me that they were doing all they could to contact her agency, and would let me know the moment they heard something. Oh man.
MIRACULOUSLY, at 11 PM, our agency had someone there working late who got our (multiple) phone messages and (multiple) emails and responded to us. She was available. Did we want to review her file. Did we have some special connection to this child, because usually families don’t go this crazy over one specific child ….uhhhh ya think.  God’s fingerprints are ALL over this. After turning in some necessary forms, we were sent Brooke’s file at 8 AM the next morning. My parents told me to “DO NOT TELL ANYONE” (yeah right) because we hadn’t had her file reviewed yet. And boy oh boy, was there some reviewing that was done. Finally…after 3 of the most excruciatingly nerve-wracking weeks of my life…my parents called me on skype. They knew that God had put this precious girl in our lives to join our family, and we had received Pre-Approval for little Cai Wei- our precious Brooke.
One of the precious pictures we were sent in Brooke’s file.
God’s fingerprints were so clearly over the entire story. From putting me in her orphanage for the summer, becoming her one-on-one teacher, praying specifically for her and her future family, sending her file to my email, causing me to open her file on RainbowKids among the thousands of other equally precious children on the list, being able to get in touch with her agency despite the late hour. Oh. My. Goodness. His confirmation came over and over, again and again. My mom will have to write a Part 4 explaining the confirmation that she felt that Brooke was indeed her daughter.
Brooke does have a tough road ahead. Her heart condition is extremely complex, and there will be many trials through the days ahead. She only has half a heart, and many other conditions that come alongside that. We can’t know the future and we don’t know what is to come with sweet Brooke and her heart. What we DO know is that she has been CHOSEN for our family, and is the most beautiful gift and incredible testament to God’s faithfulness. We have so much hope for her, and cannot wait to see the incredible joy that she will bring to our family. God has incredible plans for this little one- we are SO excited to journey with her. I can tell it’s going to be an exciting ride.
Brooke Cai Wei, we can’t wait to bring you home!!
“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


Two weeks. Two weeks since I landed in Minneapolis, bleary-eyed after hours of travel, winding my way through customs and immigration. My phone, silent for so many days, now blowing up with received messages, emails, and missed notifications. A stark contrast from the song of my 10 days in Rwanda, and a bittersweet reminder that life here has carried on, day in and day out; the unavoidable yet anticipated “welcome back” to the land I call home.

Coming back is always hard for me. Each time, I search for the root of the dreariness that seems to settle itself over the first few days, and can never seem to find it. Perhaps it’s the end of adventure…perhaps it’s the goodbyes. It could be the fear that what I experienced, what I learned, and who I became over the past however-long–its-been just can’t translate to the present-where-I-am-now…or maybe it’s just the jet lag. Whatever it is, I’m thankful for it. Those days lend themselves to reflection; to thoughtfulness. A sacred time to figure out just what on earth I’ve taken from this experience, and even more difficult, what then will I do with that knowledge.


This time around was no different. I felt those wheels touch the ground, bounce up again and then settle, right along with the pit in my stomach. My trip was incredible. If Rwanda is a masterpiece, her people are the artists. Strong and beautiful, they are painting their country a home again. Just twenty years ago, the country was devastated by genocide. Neighbor turned on neighbor; friend on friend. Today, hands are linking. Voices are mingling. Shared stories of pain and loss are woven together in a tapestry of healing…a picture of rising hope. The power found in the word “together”.

I knew in that moment, that first bounce up and down on the runway, exactly what Rwanda taught me. Even more than that, I realized just what this entire experience showed me. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, coming into this trip the way I did, the winner of the #styleforjustice “guest storyteller” spot. I knew I loved International Justice Mission. I knew I loved what I had heard and seen of Noonday Collection. Empowering women? Sustaining families? Providing justice? Yes, please. But heck, you guys. Entering into this “contest to win a trip”, surrounded by entries from hundreds of equally deserving, awe-inspiring, world-changing women. Having to rally my community. To ask you all for help. Well. That. That small little thing. That, my friends, was difficult.


For the purpose of full disclosure, you should know I was terrified. I was absolutely shaking in my boots. I am, by nature, very competitive (just a little tiny bi…okay actually maybe a lot). Business plan competition? Sure. I’m on it. Race up that mountain? EAT MY DUST, BABY. Volleyball match? Now, do you really want to go there?

But this…THIS. Asking you all to join me…to rally with me and for me…to put this opportunity I wanted so desperately into your hands…God’s hands…WHOEVER’S hands, just definitely not mine. Well now. That was a different story.

Because I am competitive. Because I am prideful. Because I fear failure. Because I am any number of things. Having to choose vulnerability, admitting to you all that I could not do this alone. That I needed you to join me. Hoping, but trying not to hope. Initiating, but relinquishing all control. Terrified. Mortified. Fearful of the unknown.

But you know what? It was beautiful. It was so beautiful. And I was amazed every single day of that darn competition. Because you showed up. You rallied. You stood, with me and for me, joining your voice and your heart with mine. You encouraged me daily with your words and support, friendships were rekindled, and we became a team.


Friends, although you made it possible for me to have this opportunity and I am so incredibly thankful, I wasn’t the only winner. Even you all aren’t the only winners. The true winners are found in every single voice that joined this cause. Every single woman who had the courage to enter. Each incredible community who rallied with her and for her, lending their voice to the oppressed and in that, bringing awareness to organizations like Noonday and IJM. We had the opportunity to see thousands stand together for the sake of justice. FRIENDS. That is an absolute slam-dunk Michael Jordan WIN. Community. Togetherness. Supporting each other and lending our voice. Linking arms and joining forces towards one common goal. What power that has. What incredible strength.

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Because of this process, watching all this unfold, this idea of community was already swirling around in my brain before leaving on this trip. Mulling around and processing the idea. Trying to truly understand what it means to live in community; to become someone’s community. Of course you can guess what came next.

Rwanda taught me community. She showed me, through her people, how to live and love in “togetherness”. My heart, now tender to this thought, burst. Over and over again. Meeting the seamstresses, employed by Noonday, at the sewing co-op. Women who create such beautiful goods. Designing with them, seeing them run their business with efficiency and professionalism, but working together as a family. Being invited into their homes, sharing meals, and watching them share the joy of creation with one another. Rejoicing together. Aiding each other. Standing with and for each other.

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I saw community in the support groups run by IJM. Mothers, whose children have been victims of sexual assault, gathering together weekly. Teenage girls were victimized themselves. Weeping with each other. Sharing each other’s burdens, reminding each other that they are not alone. Offering a tissue; extending a hand. Simple acts; but oh so powerful.

“I’ve been there.”

“I understand.”

“Sister, I stand here with you.”

What a joy…what a gift to know that we don’t have to weather this life alone. What a relief to know that we, if we can just get over ourselves…just get over our pride… can reach out a hand when are feet aren’t quite as steady and grab a lifeline. We can trust others with our vulnerabilities and our uncertainties, knowing they have our back if we fall…and hoping they know we’ll do the same for them. We live for and with each other, linking arms and binding hearts.

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We all struggle…we all need help. We all need the strength found in community, because Lord knows we can’t walk this road alone. These women…these precious Rwandan sisters… showed us their hearts, and the true community lived out within them. I hope and pray that someday I will live with their hope, their grace, and their joy. I hope that I can replicate their sense of community, the commitment to a life lived for “togetherness”. I hope I can stand for others the way you all stood for me, and continue to stand for me. I’m so thankful. So thankful for you all. You will never know how deeply you and your support touched my heart.

Community is a gift. An incredible blessing. It’s something I will never take for granted for the rest of my days. Embrace your communities, and invest in them deeply. Join in each others’ sorrows and triumphs, and all the little things in between. Hold each other up, and let yourself be held.

And together. Together. We’ll find our way.

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*Want a way to get involved with communities of passionate women looking to empower others around the world? Host a trunk show or become a Noonday ambassador. Click HERE for more information.

“To Let Our Scars Be Known”

Lowered head, with a shy smile peeking through, Jamie* begins to speak. “My name is Jamie. I am glad to meet you and to share my story. I hope that you all will share it with many more people.”

Jamie is beautiful. Quiet strength felt with every word; courageous determination seen with every step. Jamie is a teenager, listens to Chris Brown and Beyoncé, and is going to school…the ninth in her class.

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Jamie is also a survivor of abuse. A survivor of sexual assault. A term that is difficult to hear, and even more difficult to discuss. A term that is a reality of Jamie’s story; a reality of her past. Her story is one that grips your heart, and tears your soul. At fourteen years old, Jamie endured things for weeks that no child should ever have to endure. All the specifics of her victimization are not necessary for this online space, but you need to know that her abusers locked Jamie in a house and she was left alone…and then the house caught fire. Jamie was trapped. By the time neighbors could break down the door to reach her, she was severely injured, with large burns covering her small body. The damage to her legs was so extensive that both legs were amputated below the knee. The trauma, pain, and devastation she must have felt are unimaginable to me.

I first heard Jamie’s story while interning with International Justice Mission last fall, and it absolutely broke my heart. I couldn’t fathom the violence she had endured; how powerless she must have felt. I couldn’t imagine that this kind of sexual violence happens daily around the world, even in here our own country, where those with power take from those who are powerless. I’ve spoken about IJM before, but for those who may not know, IJM shows up to fight for justice in places where justice may not be so easily found. In places where justice systems are broken. In places where the voiceless remain silenced. They work in nearly twenty communities in the developing world, protecting the poor from violence, and proving that justice for the poor is not only necessary, but that it is possible and that it is their right.


IJM has a field office in Rwanda, and soon after Jamie was taken to the hospital, a nurse contacted IJM, knowing they had experience in this field. She knew they had social workers who could assist Jamie in her physical and emotional recovery. IJM took the case, and sent incredible social workers named Brigitte and Baraka to meet with Jamie and her family, taking the first steps toward the process of emotional healing.

While the social workers were caring for Jamie, IJM’s Rwandan team of investigators and lawyers worked to find the perpetrators who were responsible for this act of violence. They were successfully able to locate the men involved, and after proceeding through the necessary legal channels, they were found guilty and held responsible for their actions by the Rwandan courts.

Jamie’s healing is far from finished, but she is on her way. She is a part of IJM’s trauma-focused counseling programs, and has been fitted with a pair of prosthetics. She is receiving physical therapy, walking around with her prosthetics so well you can hardly tell she has had them for such a short time. I could not believe that the girl I saw sitting, walking, and talking with us was the same girl who had been on my heart for so long. Jamie is attending school; learning, hoping, and dreaming. She shared with us that she hopes someday to become an orthopedic doctor, to help children just like her. I have no doubt…no doubt…that she will make this dream a reality. She is beautiful; she is strong. She has a story to tell and she is not afraid to share.

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Yesterday, I met Jamie in person for the very first time, after hearing her updates for so long through IJM. Today, I know the way she lives her story, the way she wears her scars, has changed my heart forever.

Many of you know my sister’s story. The story of her scars. Brooke was born with severe congenital heart defects, with several palliative repairs done, but no long-term cure or “fix” available at this point. Her scars are prominent; provoking questions, second glances. I approached Jamie at the end of the meal, eyes brimming with tears. I could hardly speak, trying to find a way…any way… to express to her just how deeply her story touched me; how much her courage meant to me.

“I hope that someday…someday…my Brooke will wear her scars with as much grace and courage as you do today. I hope she will tell their story the way you tell yours. I am so proud of you. So very proud of you.”

Jamie looked at me then, took my hand, and said, “Would you like to feel my scars?” Her hand guiding mine, I touched the raised skin, now forever a part of her story.

Pain. Sorrow. Courage. Strength. Hope. All wrapped in that single touch; the power of her scars. Both our eyes now filled with tears, she hugged me hard, and whispered so softly I could barely catch it…

“Please tell your baby sister. I, too, hope that she is proud of her scars. Tell her that her scars show she is brave too; that it is not shameful to share her story, the same as I. My scars show how far I have come. They are painful, but they show that she is strong. Tell her to let her scars be known. Tell her I hope this for her, like I hoped for myself.”

I know Brooke’s story cannot compare in the least to the horrors Jamie faced, but I will always treasure Jamie’s words, and the kindness and hope with which she shared them. Her message of strength rings true for us all.

“To let our scars be known.”

To trust others with our stories. To encourage them in their own story. To be vulnerable and let others see our scars. What a powerful thought.

I know I will never forget Jamie’s story. I will never forget her scars. As we were leaving our lunch, she asked us to take her greetings to our friends, to tell them that she prays for them; that she is now able to walk on her own. She paused for a moment and looked up at us…”Are you taking my message?”

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Jamie’s message is written on my heart. And I want you all to hear it too. I wish I could say the violence stops with Jamie. That she is the only one; the rarest of rare case. But she isn’t. Not by a long shot. Violence to the poor is an epidemic, and it must be stopped. For Jamie. For our Rwandan sisters. For the daughters, the sons, the friends around this world who have fallen victim to violence. They deserve for their stories to be shared, and I want you to hear it. They wear their scars, each and every one of them, and their story speaks loud and clear.

How will we then respond? How will YOU respond?

“IJM is releasing a short film about Jamie’s powerful story in a couple weeks. Be among the first to see it by making sure you’re signed up here to get email updates. You won’t want to miss it. Please consider partnering with them in their mission to protect the poor from violence by signing up to become a Freedom Partner. A donation of $24.00 every month, so that IJM can show up, 24 hours a day. You can do so HERE. We can step forward. We can start TODAY. You can make a difference. Let’s do it, friends.

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*a pseudonym

Overflowing with HOPE

There are people who come into our lives who inspire us, people who challenge us, people who we meet and just immediately know that our lives will never be the same.

I have several of those people in my life. Mentors. Friends. Role models whom I haven’t met yet, but so hope to someday. Out of all these, however, there are a few who have affected me the most….two little girls, stuck in tiny 3T sized bodies, but with hearts big enough to touch the entire world. They were the unexpected inspirations. The “un-sought-after” teachers. I never dreamt that someone so small could grow me, expand me, challenge me in such drastic ways.

You all know my sister Brooke, and the impact she has made on my life. If you don’t…you can find the intro to her story HERE. But today, I want to introduce you to Lily.


Lily is sweet; Lily is sassy. Lily is as “Empress-y” as they come; loves princesses, Hello Kitty, and her Papa’s “noodle soup”. She loves doing puzzles, does NOT like to get dirty, and heaven forbid she step out the door without her signature bow, crowning her the true princess that she is.


And most of all, Lily is BRAVE. Lily was born with a very broken heart, one just like my Brooke’s. Emily, Lily’s mommy, and I became fast friends, after “meeting” in a yahoo group advocating for Chinese children with congenital heart defects. We soon found out that her Lily and my Brooke had almost identical hearts. Their extremely rare, “one-in-a-million” combination of heart defects, down to the “upside-down-and-backwards” nature of their hearts, was shared. We traveled to China at the same time, where Lily and Brooke first met in person, and the girls became US citizens the same day. Just a few weeks later, Lily and Brooke underwent the same heart surgery, the Fontan, just 4 days apart. Lily’s people were praying for Brooke; Brooke’s people were praying for Lily. Emily and I coined them “Heart Sisters” before they ever met, and now after watching them interact together, compare brave scars, become friends…they truly have become sisters at heart.


Lily has gone through a great deal since coming home. Several more open heart surgeries. Two belly surgeries. Countless weeks and months spent in hospitals. And most recently? Lily received a new heart just a few days ago. A brave new hero heart, which is now beating inside of her, strong and sure.

Lily is BRAVE, friends. Lily is a miracle. Lily and her Mommy, my precious friend Emily, who has in essence become MY heart sister throughout these years, encourage me daily to choose courage. To dare. To risk. To live each day with “overflowing HOPE”.

I’ve had the privilege of having a front row seat to Lily’s miracle, watching in awe as this brave-hearted girl has undergone surgery after surgery, coming out time and time again ready to keep fighting CHD with every single heartbeat. I was able to spend countless nights with Lily and her Mommy in the hospital, fun “sleepovers” with Tangled playing ad nauseam, watching Lily win the hearts of each nurse, every doctor, and all the other patients on the hall.




Lily chooses to live with overwhelming JOY, finding laughter in the midst of pain. She is courageous and always concerned for others, even on her “this is not my best day” kind of days, saying “Merduff, I think we should take walk. I need to check on the other patients, you know!”

Oh Lily Grace. I’m so thankful that our worlds collided. You and your sweet sisters have taught me more than you’ll ever know…more than I will probably ever fully comprehend. Your brave heart has touched thousands, and I know this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see you up, running and playing as fast as you can with your new hero heart, keeping up with your sisters and soon-to-come little brother with a special heart just like you. I can’t wait to see how you teach him to be brave, to love and embrace his brave “heart beeps”, to live with overflowing HOPE. I’ll never forget sitting up one night into the early morning hours with your Mommy, talking for hours about how we just wanted you and Brooke to live. To truly live, not held back by your heart or people saying “You can’t”. Lily Grace, we shouldn’t have worried. You CAN and you ARE living…embracing each day with more hope than most people see in a lifetime. You are one in a million, Lily girl. I can’t wait to see where you go. And someday? Someday I want to live just. like. YOU. 


*Lily’s family is faced with many upcoming medical bills in the weeks and months to coming, following Lily’s transplant. Right now, I want their focus to be completely on Lily and her healing…not worrying about financial issues. If you would like to help contribute to Lily’s medical fund, a YouCaring site has been set up. Please feel free to contribute, and share the link if you would like. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns! Thank you!!



I Want To Be A Storyteller

Stories. Stories bring joy. Stories empower. Stories prove that there is something of value to be told; words that tell of hope for the future. And telling someone else’s story; showing them that their life, their story, is worth the telling? For that, stories are priceless.

Stories can change us, and can change others with us. My life was changed by a story, when I spent a summer at a special needs orphanage in China and took care of a little girl each day, a precious girl who was born with just half a heart. Her story touched my heart and opened my eyes to a world that was greater than myself; a world that needs an advocate for those who have no voice. A world that needs someone to stand for those who are unable to stand for themselves. God had greater plans than I, because that little girl who changed my heart is now my baby sister. Brooke’s heart needed healing, and my heart needed Brooke. Her future is uncertain, but her life is full of love. Her story of hope and joy, which has now become mine as well, touches lives wherever she goes.



My life was changed by a story. My sister’s heart journey changed all my “plans,” and I began to advocate for children like Brooke, moving to Iraq, and working for an nonprofit, Preemptive Love Coalition, that provides children with the heart surgeries they desperately need. There, I learned how to truly become an advocate. Real faces, real stories, of hope, of love, of joy coming from a country where more painful stories are usually shared. I’ve used these stories to hold fundraisers, which have now funded multiple heart surgeries.

Photo Credit: Preemptive Love Coalition

Photo Credit: Preemptive Love Coalition

When I heard about the opportunity to join 9 other amazing storytellers in Rwanda, on a storytelling trip with Noonday Collection and International Justice Mission, I knew that I wanted to do the same in Rwanda. I want to tell these women’s stories. Why am I the best advocate? Because I have a voice. And I plan on using it to change the world. I’m young, but I’m a leader. I’m inexperienced, but I’m daring and I’m willing… to go wherever God calls me. I know that empowerment creates change. That seeking justice for the poor; the oppressed is not in vain. The strength of advocacy is not taken for granted, and I know I can stand beside these Rwandan sisters, and proclaim that their story is worth telling.

Why me? Because I want to continue to be a voice. I want to cheer and share and stand alongside these women around the world who are strong; women who are starting to make their voice heard, fighting their way out of poverty and violence, and standing up to greet any obstacles in their path head-on with an “I Can.” “I Will.” “I Am.”


But the thing is, I can’t do this alone. Will you help me tell their stories?

Go HERE to vote, and share away…you can vote once per day, per device/FB account, until 11:59 PM, Monday, June 9th.

Let’s do this, team.