Her name is Jam.
She’s a seven-year old Cambodian orphan that I fell head over heels for at a talent show being put on by hundreds of Cambodian orphans on the outskirts of their capital city of Phnom Penh. Engulfed by a sea of children vying for my attention, Jam stood behind the crowd with her hands shyly behind her back. Once her and I were able to make eye contact I motioned her over and she sat down on the corner of the chair next to me, her tiny fingers interlocked, laid on her lap. I didn’t feel the need to try and engage in playful conversation, I could see her personality was not as needy nor outgoing as the others. But, even not doing so, Jam and I were instantly connected. Somehow, minus any words, she trusted me. I felt something so purely pure between the two of us that I became borderline emotional. My brain began considering what her everyday life might be like. And with the history that this country and this part of the world has with sex trafficking, a shrewd heaviness weighted my heart down into my stomach. A parental chord never before struck was now vibrating so loudly inside that I genuinely began considering how I could take her with me. Every time I peeked down, she looked up, bashfully shrugged her shoulders and melted my insides with the sweetest smile in return. All I could do was think to myself, I want to take care of her. I want to make sure that nothing bad ever happens to her.
Great question, Emily Savoie.