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  • I've always seen myself as an outsider, but not by choice. Different aspects of my personality seem to turn a lot people off. This story I'm going to share is not about me though, but it puts my story into perspective.

    Unfortunately I cannot remember this beautiful girl's name, it's been a few years now. I went to India for a month and toured around the southern state of Tamil Nadu. I stayed with many different families. I was fortunate enough to be picked to go on a Rotary exchange program called Group Study Exchange. It was a great experience. I felt like an outsider with that exchange group as well. Anyway, even though I don't remember her name, I remember her story vividly. It haunts me in a good way, in a way that keeps my heart soft.

    I stayed in a beach house of a fairly wealthy Christian Indian man who worked in the oil industry for three days. He house is located just off of the beach that was hit by the 2004 tsunami. He lost his three children in that tsunami and out of his grief and he adopted 20 orphans who lost their parents in the tsunami. I will tell his story another day.

    This young girl who took to me right away had a very unique and bit more tragic story than most the other children. Her right hand was paralyzed and somewhat deformed. I asked what happened.

    Her current adopted mother told me that she was conceived out of an affair her father was having with a single woman. Because her mother was not married she did not want her, so after giving birth her mother just threw her into some bushes to discard her. She broke her hand as an infant from that and it never healed correctly. Well, someone found her and an older woman adopted her with her older sister. Her newly adopted mother was sadly killed in the tsunami of 2004, this young girl was at school when the tsunami hit. Her adopted mother's sister survived but was too old and unable to raise her. So the family I was staying with at the time willingly adopted her and gave her loving home.

    I remember so well how she would smile every time she saw me. She was self conscience of her hand but not of her pretty eyes and smile. She loved being near me, sitting next to me during meal time and just greeting me. She was so precious and beautiful, nothing about my personality turned her off and nothing about her turned me off. She was an outsider from her own family but yet was so open and loving to those around her. I think about her often and how she is doing.
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