Honoring My True Name

I grew up with the names “it,” “thing,” and occasionally “numb nuts.” These gruesome names marked me while simultaneously dehumanizing me within my home. I was given an American name when I was adopted from my orphanage to the U.S. I heard this name used mostly outside of my home by teachers and friends. There…

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Her Light Defies Closed Doors

When I was growing up, basements were a place to put things that no longer had value. Basements were the place in homes where you spent the least amount of time. They became a container for keeping stuff out of sight and out of mind. The things which once held value would be forgotten and…

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Goodness and Grief

I am not ready to let go. The tears and memories still come to the surface, far too quickly, and for this I hold immense gratitude. I am still holding the glorious faces, stories, words, and brilliant questions of those who went through our institute. The beautiful work was done in partnership and communion alongside…

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A Stranger No More

I am from a country of more than a billion people From Indian and Pakistani roots I am from a place of many hands and caregivers but no one to call Mom and Dad I am from spices, colorful saris, traditions focused on light  From zesty smells of turmeric, ginger, and cardamom I am from…

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Flipping the Narrative

I was first a daughter who was born to a beautiful young mother near Sarita Vihar, India. My First Mother loved me deeply, and she called me hers. I was then an Orphan, as I was unjustly separated from her arms. I never knew my First Father’s face or arms, and for that I grieve.…

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Crown or No Crown, You’re Still a Queen to Me

“Crown or no crown, you’re still a queen to me.” I read these bold, black words in a small card with a picture of a silver glitter crown on the cover.  My friend, Desire—my coworker and fellow sorority sister—left this card for me at our work. It was a sweet gift: we had just learned…

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To My Love

To my Love during this holiday season, You look down at your belly and place your hand gently on the slight natural curve. You wonder, What happened? What did I do? Why is there no baby inside?  You breathe a deep sigh, which leads to a release of salty water welling up in your eyes,…

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The Gift of Mum

I lost my birth mom the day I came into this world. We were in Northern India together and connected for just a few moments…and then…separated. I grieved the disruptive loss of a second (adoptive) mother the day I turned 18. Those are two significant days that hold life and newness which have been marked…

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My Wild Sages

From the beginning of my faith journey, I have been intentional to surround myself with women who come from various backgrounds but hold one thing in common: wisdom. I have held the honor of sitting across many tables and even working in a wood shop alongside women who I would name as wild sages. The…

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I’m Fine

I had been driving around the neighborhood, circling the same streets for almost thirty minutes, until I reached a point of no longer being able to bear the weight of what I was trying to escape. My friend Cassandra was on the phone with me, listening as I talked with panic in my voice and…

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