She watched in pure ecstasy as the new chairs were placed in the living room. She took no time to begin to put them in their proper places, and ask if she could begin to hang pictures on the walls
She sat on the bench and immediately envisioned herself watching movies and television shows from the comfort of that very bench. I quickly told her we would not be purchasing a television, to which she replied, "Ok, laptop then."
My heart beamed with joy. Our house was no longer a house.
It was a home.
Sitting next to my row of precious books that now found its home perched on a brand new shelf, was a copy of the documentary, Girl Rising.
Girl Rising is a film that tells the stories of girls all over the world. Girls who are denied education, rights, respect and decency, yet defy the odds and refuse to be crushed by society. I knew immediately that she needed to watch this. Not only does she love any and all movies, she was a living testament of a girl rising.
Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of her mother's death. At the age of five, she watched as the first of five family members she would lose, passed away. Too young to attend the funeral, she was sent to an aunt's house, yet she can still vividly remember March 3rd, 2005.
Thus began eight years of pure tragedy for this precious girl.
Following her mother, three of her sisters were gone too soon from illness and sheer injustices, which encompass a life lived within poverty.
The January 12, 2010 earthquake did not pass her by either. Her father's life was taken, and hers was barely spared.
Yet, despite all of this unthinkable sadness, the several years she missed from being unable to afford school, she still finds joy.
She still wakes up every morning, eager to attend school, and never ceases to be grateful for everything she has been given.
I sat back as she intently watched the film.
Soaking every second realizing that she too, was a girl rising.
Here I am, so very ill-equipped for this job, creating a home for her to grow, learn, laugh and play. To feel safe and know that she is deeply loved, and that regardless of what has transpired in her life, she too has risen above and will accomplish her dreams.
She will be the first person in her immediate family to finish school.
She will not be a statistic.
She will continue to rise.
We have found a home together, and my heart has never been more full.