Thursday, August 13, 2009


"For a long time, she flew only when she thought no one else was watching."- Brian Andreas

Photo by Marcel Gahbauer, McGill Bird Observatory (QC), August 2005

Ever since my oldest daughter was little, she wanted to move to New York City when she grew up. She also wanted to be a writer. This past Spring she graduated from University with a degree in Creative Writing. Then last night, I dropped her off at her first apartment in NYC.

If you could only see her face as she stood in her apartment looking out on the lights of the city. I’m not sure if her sparkling eyes were reflecting those lights, or if they were revealing the joy of dreams fought hard for… finally coming true. I cannot describe to you the pride and joy I felt as I saw her standing there. My little girl has left the nest and is trying out her wings.

As I left the apartment building, I was suddenly struck with fear. What will happen when the winds and the storms come? Are her wings strong enough? Is she REALLY ready? I found myself wanting to secretly get an apartment in the same building so I could be nearby, just in case if she ever needed me. This “bird leaving the nest” thing is turning out to be a mixed bag, full of joy, pride, risk, fear, unknowns, etc.

We at Love146 had a couple of birds leave the nest this past week. And all of the same feelings are there. Two of our girls were ready to leave the safehome and continue the process of reintegration back into a community. They have good jobs, a good support system, and will be continuing their education. They are pursuing their dreams and they are beyond excited! To say we are proud would be an understatement. The courage, tenacity and resiliency of our girls is inspiring and humbling to say the least. They have been active participants in their own recovery.

But, in all honesty, I wrestle with the same concerns as I do with my daughter. What will happen when the winds and the storms come? Are their wings strong enough? Are they REALLY ready?

Then I think about what they have come from and where they are now. Our Director of Aftercare, Dr. Velazco said this yesterday; “We took them from the community, hurt, broken. Now we give them back to the community, healed, strong, and wanting to change the community. One has concrete plans of creating a foundation for girls like her. The other one is determined to be a social worker and counsel families and children. The girls are re-writing our mission in aftercare. We are not only restoring survivors .Restored children are becoming restorers of a broken world."

So with that, my fears are relieved. The transformation in our girls is stunning. So much so, that if you look in their eyes, you will see a sparkle there. Eyes that once revealed unbearable pain and brokenness, now reveal the joy of dreams fought hard for… finally coming true. I realize in a moment…our girls are already flying. And have been for a long time. I have so much to learn.


Follow me on Twitter HERE.


Mama4Real said...

And now I am a blubbering fool.

There really are no words to wrap around what my heart feels for these 2 girls. Wow. Even that's not enough. Amazing. Pales in comparison.


Yes, I suppose that covers it. I am so glad to be able to connect here, and hear these stories, see your tweets...

I think of how proud you feel, and think how much prouder The Father is, of the girls (your daughter included), and how proud he is of you and the rest of the staff, and all those who work tirelessly to bring justice to a fallen world.

Bless you guys!

BlondesPoopMascara.blogspot.com said...

"Restored children are becoming restorers of a broken world." - God, that's freakin' beautiful!

biba said...

Oh I am once again struck by beauty .
This is very beautiful to here and moves me very much so .

love biba

Elizabeth T. said...

Even in the most terrible situations, our wings appear and direct us towards healing, joy, and new beginnings.

Restoration is a reality for these magnificent surviors who thought, at one point, their wings were broken. And this is when Love steps in...

What a fantastic entry, Rob. Thank you so much.

Sally Rymer said...

I leave the nest in 2 weeks. So, I completely understand those feelings.

It's scary, exciting, sad, and beautiful all at once.

JBailey said...

i like what you said about these girls going into their community to restore others. Free people set other people free!