The Life Imagined by a 12-Year-Old Girl | The BridgeMaker

The Life Imagined by a 12-Year-Old Girl

By on Nov 16, 2010


The Girl Effect campaign is about possibility, justice, and sending love across the world. – Tara Mohr

Emily turns 12-years-old next month. Our younger daughter attends school, takes dance classes, rides horses, eats when she is hungry and has a limitless future ahead of her. She goes to bed with a kiss and wakes up to hope, abundance and love surrounding her.

Emily’s life belongs to her and she doesn’t have to worry about it being taken away. However, the life imagined by my daughter is different than the life imagined by 50 million other 12-year-old girls who go to bed hungry and wake up to uncertainty surrounding them.

But there is hope to for these young women who don’t have the same advantages as my Emily. This promise of hope is the power of The Girl Effect.

The Girl Effect is a global movement. By investing in young adolescent girls we can help them overcome poverty, illiteracy, and teenage pregnancy. The following three-minute video provides an overview of the issues these girls face as well the solutions we can provide. Reading by email? Please visit the blog to watch the video – just click here.

The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign

Tara Mohr of Wise Living Blog has organized a blogging campaign to promote awareness of The Girl Effect project. The campaign brings together over 30 bloggers who are helping spread the message of this important cause. While none of the bloggers (including myself) are formally affiliated with The Girl Effect, we decided to take one day to blog about this topic.

Read more about Tara’s campaign and see how you can participate, here.

The power of second chances

I decided to participate in the campaign because The Girl Effect hits close to home.

With three of our children out of the house, Emily reminds Mary Beth and me that our child-at-home parenting days are not over yet. We are often entertained (and sometimes irritated) by her energetic spirit and her enthusiastic gusto for life helps us feel young. Our daughter keeps our nest from being empty for a while longer.

Emily is the youngest of our four children. There are twelve years separating her from our oldest child, Brandon and nine years between Emily and her older sister, Caitlin. She is seven years younger than her brother, Andrew.

There’s no question our daughter was brought into this world with a special purpose in mind because the odds against her getting here were immense. Her conception, while planned, came after a miscarriage and the decision Andrew would be our last. But out of blind faith, my wife and I decided to try again.

Our faith was tested one more time the day Emily was born.

She came into the world blue and not the healthy pink we were expecting. The doctors took our daughter to a separate corner of the birthing room where they were able to stabilize her. Rather than putting Emily on her mother’s chest with me by their side, she was taken to an incubator to help keep her alive instead.

Born six weeks early, our daughter was transported to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters where she spent nine days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. After a blood transfusion, numerous tests and the concern of several doctors, it was a nurse who discovered the cause of Emily’s illness.

The nurse heard a clicking sound when listening to her heart. This sound was from a hole in a heart valve. Because of her premature birth, the hole did not have a chance to close before birth. After several rounds of medicine, the clicking sound ended and a beautiful shade of pink came over our daughter.

Emily Grace Blackwell was given a second chance.

She received this second chance not because she is worthier than any other girl; she received the second chance because of the power of love. A mother’s love, a father’s love and God’s love took care of a girl who wasn’t able to take care of herself.

The Girl Effect project, then, is a way for me to extend my love to other girls who need a second chance. While I can’t take care of 50 million 12-year-old girls, I can help create awareness for what they need.

With the power of the 30 other bloggers who are part of this campaign, we have the potential to reach millions of people – one person at a time. The power of each person taking just one action can make a positive difference.

By the power of your love, the life imagined by these 12-year-old girls can turn from despair and to hope. Consider participating in The Girl Effect project so another worthy girl receives a second chance, too.

Please share in Comments how you can help. The BridgeMaker will donate an additional four dollars for each comment received. Reading this by email? Please visit the blog to leave your comment – just click here.

Here’s how you can help right now:

  • Visit the Share It page where you will find a web banner, presentation kit, event guide, additional videos and logos.
  • Share their website http://www.girleffect.org on your online social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and through email.
  • Like their Facebook page.
  • Follow on Twitter.
  • Spread the word by tweeting about this blogging campaign, and use the hashtag #girleffect
  • Make a donation.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Thanks Adrian. We all the power to change the world – one person at a time.

  • Hi Alex, because you lived this world will be a better place.

  • Keep listing to your voice of truth SailorMarie and stay strong, always!

  • SailorMarie Bliss

    This work is so important. Right around age 12 is when my friends & I all began to change & stopped listening to our own voices, while placing more & more importance on the voices of others. The media & popular culture especially.

  • I’m glad to meet you, too Jennifer. Thanks so much for stopping by.