33 minutes | Oct 29, 2018
Nelda talks with George Lynch of Traffick911 about Helping Trafficking Victims
Nelda talks with George Lynch of Traffick911 about Helping Trafficking Victims Nelda talks with George Lynch of Traffick911 by Nelda Sue Yaw | Conversations with Nelda http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Nelda_George_Podcast_mixdown_With_Intro.mp3 In This Episode After three years of suffering as a victim of sexual slavery, a fifteen-year-old girl was set free. She had come from a loving family. Her parents’ rules had been reasonable. But predators found her through social media. Three years later, the organization Traffick911 cooperated with agencies and officers from Dallas to Austin, and together they brought her justice. She and her parents began the long journey of restoration. Child sex trafficking is happening all around us. Around 300,000 minors are lured into sex trafficking each year. A recent study estimates as many as 79,000 children are victims of sex trafficking, just in the state of Texas. Many are vulnerable to predators’ traps that offer relationships, screen devices, toys, or fashionable clothes. Our immediate reaction to horrors like this can be to feel numb, overwhelmed, or enraged. Regardless of how you feel, you should know that victims depend on an informed, aware, alert community willing to inform authorities if we see signs of exploitation in our neighborhoods, stores, or at the airport. Victims especially depend on the brave men and women working on the front line combating this terrible evil. They rely on professionals who devote their time helping victims recover their future. Listen to Nelda’s podcast interview with her friend George Lynch from the organization Traffick911. Learn how this team of heroes is working to restore what has been stolen from these infinitely valuable children — their individual voices and choices. Show Notes 1:00 Nelda Introduces George: Who are you and how did you get into this work? George talks about the most intimate and important relationships in his own life and how they motivate him to seek justice for the vulnerable. 2:30 How do we bring awareness to this terrible issue? George shares how he discovered the massive scale of this problem. Texas is #2 in the country in numbers of victims. We need to be equipped and aware to recognize the traps that are at work. 4:10 Tell me about Traffick911, what is It doing? T911 opened in 2009 and is now In 18 communities, freeing youths who are being sold for sex. T911 partners with law enforcement, counselors, and juvenile detention centers. It coordinates advocates. T911’s goal — give victims back their stolen voices and choices, through long-term virtuous relationships. T911 wants to change their life trajectory by offering hope. 6:30 What is the Traps program? Traps is T911’s program to raise children’s awareness about how predators use lures to get kids. Kids need to know how predators exploit their material and emotional vulnerabilities. 8:05 Where does Traffick911 work to educate and reach out? Junior highs, juvenile detention centers, anywhere they can. Seven years ago, during T911’s first visit to a juvenile detention center, victims were unable to recognize their status and feelings of shame. Visits became a chance for them to understand the forces arrayed against them, and enable them to admit the truth. More than 800 children, over 9 years, have been identified — they are the lucky ones. 10:40 How important is It for children to be seen as individuals and know that someone cares? The horror is children’s voices and choices being stolen. They deserve to be seen as people with a future. They are not throwaways. They deserve a chance to build relationships and get to know adults who endured similar experiences and became change agents. Each life matters. T911 is building virtuous relationships in their darkest hour. Last year T911 had 128 interactions, and 87 victims are still in relationships with T911 professionals at varied levels. It makes such a difference when people give their lives to reach out, build real friendship, and give joy, celebrating triumphs when possible. 14:30 What is the biggest misconception about exploitation? The biggest pain is caused by betrayal and hurt — what happens in exploitative relationships. These youth know betrayal at its worst. They crave real and virtuous relationships. They need someone to meet them and ask, “what is the next best choice for you?” T911 professionals help them dream and come back to where they want to be. 17:00 At first, I had no idea the level of trauma they suffer. It’s hard to face the depth of damage and recognize how deep their need for healing is. There are two layers. One is obvious — the abuse itself. Another layer arises from coping strategies — alcohol, drugs, and dissociation. The worst part is they miss the development milestones that protected kids get. 18:00 Can you share some statistics and recent data obtained in TX? The governor and attorney general are taking this very seriously, and the state of Texas sponsors research. Investigators have found that as many as 79,000 children at any one time are being exploited. There are other costs from long-term damage: 1.6 billion dollars for life-long services stemming from being abused. 20:30. What should parents do? At what age should parents be sharing these things? You can’t talk about this too soon. Kids need boundaries, knowledge, and trust networks. Kids need wisdom and guidance regarding the use of screens and social media. Traffickers use the same social media platforms young people use. Parents can help them recognize that “likes” are not worth the risk. 22:30 Do you have a specific story that shines a light on the magnitude of this? Exploiting children spans gender, race, and economics. One story — a girl grew up in a solid family with sensible rules. But, she rebelled. She was lured by guy in his late 20s, who said, “you don’t have to live with those rules. Come live with me.” She was 12. At 15, she was finally rescued. Her parents were prepared and wisely chose not to shame her. The Dallas district attorney helped restore this child. Law enforcement, prosecutors, all worked together with T911. 26:30 How can people get involved? Be aware. Make a call to the authorities if you see something that doesn’t seem right. Pay attention. Have the conversation. Communities need to know this is happening. George is grateful for Texas laws. We need local law enforcement officers to know we as citizens care. Speak up in the face of wrongs. Show up and support organizations like T911. It’s a global issue, but it’s also local. We need to voice our care and not just feel it. Be educated. Read resources and books, and watch documentaries listed on T911 website. Don’t use porn, because it’s driving such horrible exploitation, and shapes a mindset that feeds the demand for this crime. It commodifies people. 30:00 What’s next for Traffick911? The problem is vast. When you see how big this is, you want to go attack every mole. But T911 has to stick by its guns. T911 just finished 1 year of full advocacy and collaboration with state-wide departments and agencies wanting to collaborate. For T911, the way forward is more of the same — prevention and advocacy. Advocacy to help them get where they want to be. 31:00 Thanks to George and his work to give wings to other people who help restore victims’ lives. Thanks to Nelda for her support.
3 minutes | Jul 3, 2018
Learning Gratefulness from Abandonment and Adoption
Learning Gratefulness from Abandonment and Adoption Listen to "Learning Gratefulness from Abandonment and Adoption" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Learning_Gratefulness_from_Abandonment_and_Adoption_.mp3 Porcelain dolls break when they hit stone floors. Suddenly, a beautiful face becomes jagged and ugly. In this case, gone almost completely. My youngest was immediately awestruck. She couldn’t believe what happened when she dropped her. It happened mid lecture about bathroom hygiene, which we had a hundred times, and in her despondency about it all she frustratingly released her hold. The slip to the floor was rapid. It was meant to illustrate her frustration but she wasn’t expecting such horrific results. At first I was miffed at her purposeful action. However, all of our emotions pretty much turned to horror when Sweet Ashlynn’s face was a pile of shards. I collected what I could, not without blood being drawn, and began the painstaking process of accessing the damage. Could she be repaired? I turned around. My youngest was blubbering her innocence and saying “no one ever believed her”, etc. My arms opened, and consoling, warmth, and forgiveness of each other, and also self, love, and trust flowed and was spoken, while gifts of repair and healing literally filled my heart and hers. We have all lived through actions we regret. Then the task began in earnest on poor Ashlynn. In the midst of it all I felt overwhelmed. My girls are like this shattered china doll—dropped in abandonment, and now being glued together in adoption. Daily the Master’s hand is repairing and restoring them and sometimes I am an open show of help and other moments, quite the opposite. I resent the task. I stepped out to have a cry. It had been a long week, with my mind and body tired of the virus, ready for better health. I lashed out unrealistically complaining today. Now this strong reminder of how fragile we all are…how imperfect. In need of a master repairman. My scars are ever evident — my impatience, bitterness, and frustrations at others because of my own hurts. Thank goodness for forgiveness. For supernatural healing and vulnerability and grace to give along the way. Ashlynn was repaired…but like most of us, not without evidence of the crash. My reminder, my youngest’s reminder…grace given, repairs in the making. Choose gratefulness…give grace…throw open your arms and comfort each other.
1 minutes | Jun 26, 2018
I Want To Be A Girl: To Dance With Reckless Abandon
I Want To Be A Girl: To Dance With Reckless Abandon Listen to "I Want To Be A Girl" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/I_Want_to_be_a_Girl_.mp3 I want to be a girl. I want to dance with reckless abandon across a flower-covered mountainside. I want to be a girl. I want to lie on a quilt in the sun and watch clouds overhead. I want to be a girl. I want to twirl in a beautiful calico skirt, barefoot in the grass. I want to be a girl. Not a role model or some crazy hero because I have waded through shit and come out clean. I want to love with abandon and laugh and giggle!!!! I want to prance through being 50 with joy and absolute fragrance of Love!!! I want to create for me and others what we long for most… Joy and sweet abandon of being me. I am a girl!!!
1 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
Plunge In, Set Out, Embark On A New Adventure
Plunge In, Set Out, Embark On A New Adventure Listen to "Plunge In, Set Out, Embark On A New Adventure" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Nelda_Sue_Yaw_Conversations_Episode_10.mp3 It’s time to plunge in, set out, and embark on a new adventure. I don’t know about you, but I’m always a mixture of excitement and a little trepidation when I start something new. Right now, I’m trying to envision you, my traveling partner. I’d like us to laugh along this journey, cry together, and generally give each other support along the way. I want to get to know you, and for you to get to know me. It’s the only way to understand each other, and we all need plenty of understanding! I have so much to share, so many talks I long to have with you. So many stories I want to hear and embrace. Today my youngest and I plunged into the deep waters of a pool, and as I sputtered to the top I knew I was feeling such anticipation for what lies ahead…and I love this feeling! So smiling and a little nervous, it’s time to begin. Time to embark… Let’s go!
2 minutes | Jun 12, 2018
Connecting To Children Without Words: The Gift of Touch
Connecting To Children Without Words: The Gift of Touch Listen to "Connecting to Children Without Words" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Nelda_Sue_Yaw_Conversations_Episode_1.mp3 Rocking little girls to sleep can be addictive in a good way. It’s my way of connecting without words. Those moments of swaying together, humming, singing, and breathing in rhythm. It seems to bind us in a way nothing else can. If there is anything I wish I could do with my grown-up kids it’s just hold and rock them. Hear their hearts again. They are so precious to me. If only they knew that I dream of those days when we rocked together. Mommas don’t get to rock their babies enough. Baby number two, three, and four come along and there is just not enough Momma to go around. If only we could bring those days back. Hold them close. Watch them while they sleep a little more. And, just like before…it’s yesterday once more. My oldest two don’t know the times I sat in their rooms as they grew and adored each little breath, those sleepy sighs. I loved being their mom and nothing brought me quite as much joy as their sweet voices in the morning and the songs they sang while swinging and playing alone or together. Now I get to hold two more, hear the peace in their sleep, count the slight snores and sighs. Each night as I descend the stairs I think about my first two babies and smile to myself. I lift a silent prayer for their health and well-being and send a silent hug full of love and adoration. Life is good…and full of joy. Sweet memories abound.
2 minutes | May 29, 2018
Marvelous Summer Days: Watermelon, Family and Gratefulness
Marvelous Summer Days: Watermelon, Family and Gratefulness Listen to "Marvelous Summer Days" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Marvelous_Summer_Days.mp3 It was such a fun evening—hot, sticky, squinting at the lake as the sun went down, sans sunglasses. Heather came by and leaned over my chair, “It’s 98 degrees at almost 8 o’clock, can you believe it?” Karl and I shook our heads after she walked away. “Dog days of summer have started.” I went down to the crowded shoreline amongst the splashing bundles of energy to look for my towheaded one and our dirty blonde. I finally stood on a rock to get a better look. No go. I considered irrational fear and tossed it aside. They probably found a free hot dog or watermelon. After an intense few passes over the water I looked back toward the crowd. As I thought, the oldest had cake and the younger was eating watermelon, but while the younger one relished hers the oldest one looked like she was caught red-handed. I smiled reassuringly as she finished the last bite. I asked them to stay dry, but they ran off and came back dripping wet a few minutes later, just in time for the fireworks to begin. We sat there in our camp chairs and offered our blanket of Indian saris to a sweet family who graciously accepted. I smiled at my family. My sweet girls and dear husband. There are times I still marvel that I married again, that we adopted these precious daughters, and that we are jelling as a unit. My heart is so grateful.
2 minutes | May 15, 2018
A New Saturday Morning Tradition: All Is Well
A New Saturday Morning Tradition: All Is Well Listen to "A New Saturday Morning Tradition" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/A_New_Saturday_Morning_Tradition.mp3 I’m sitting upright in my bed on a Saturday morning…it’s three minutes to 10 am…and this occurrence is so rare I will write about it. My 9 year old leans against Karl’s pillow and is talking aloud to a Zombie Villager who has invaded her Minecraft village. She wears her blue earbuds (her favorite color) and speaks a little louder than usual. Our 8 year old is between us, resting on my chest with her feet against her sister’s side while she watches the video of how Beauty and the Beast was made. We are all as she likes it best: physically connected in some way. She wraps my arm around her waist and digs her toes into her sister’s belly just a little. It’s heaven on earth here. For a little moment before we face the world out there. I am sort of reading snippets of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” while listening to “tale as old as time…” and “Die you Zombie!” but mostly I’m embracing this moment in my heart. It’s the connection emotionally that we need to solidify this newly formed family. Our hero is out picking up breakfast from our favorite local French Cafe (It’s Texas French Bread in Austin…oh to be able to tear into a flaky crescent. I miss my days of ignorance of Hashimoto’s and my gluten allergy…but I digress…go see them if you are in Austin, but don’t tell too many people, it’s a our little secret!). He’s already been up for an hour walk with the dogs in the Texas heat before we jump into the nineties today. Whew. By the time I’ve recorded all of this, he’s come in and our breakfast is turned into a bedroom picnic…maybe a new Saturday morning breakfast tradition has begun!! I feel so grateful and genuinely spoiled. While I watch Karl fight a nap at 10:32 am, the girls have finished putting crumbs in the bed and are building in Minecraft, while music plays and two dogs sprawl on the cool wooden floor secretly hoping for scraps. All is well.
2 minutes | May 8, 2018
My Morning: Honeysuckle, a Dog, and Some Really Good Oatmeal
My Morning: Honeysuckle, a Dog, and Some Really Good Oatmeal Listen to "My Morning, Honeysuckle, a Dog, and some really good Oatmeal" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/My_Morning_Honeysuckle_a_dog_and_some_really_good_oatmeal.mp3 The honeysuckle rests like a cozy blanket in the air this morning, as the birds call loudly to their mates. It’s that time of year for finishing nests, laying eggs, and raising young. The mockingbird is singing the loudest today, but the dove’s coo is always my favorite. My escape artist dog is visiting the neighbor’s yard today—she’s got her nose to the air for my scent, and even honeysuckle can’t hide her knowledge that I am here to catch her and take her home. It’s the battle of the wills and my hungry stomach. She’s a bit more tenacious in some ways, but I think I can wait her out. Ah, the tree frogs are still up. Oh! There she is! She bolts straight at me, then rounds and takes off again into their back yard. Guess the game is on…I bet my oatmeal is cold by now. Sigh. Our pets. They are as much a part of our world as our breath at times. This loving roamer has been with me some 6 years now. Still puppy-like in some ways, part protector, part hunter, part loner, and fully my friend and always my love—She helped me through one of the most difficult parts of my life. Did I mention, she loves to roam? Who could blame her? So many good smells and places to see and rocks to climb. Remember when dogs could be dogs and people watched out for them and life was simpler? Remember that I’m hungry? I hear Karl approach and after a brief talk he returns with our other gentle giant on leash and carries the leash of the roamer. She hears it jiggle and comes back, sits reluctantly, and smiles as she goes for her walk. I smile, walk home, reheat the oatmeal.
2 minutes | May 1, 2018
Why Take The Easy Route? The World Is Your Oyster
Why Take The Easy Route? The World Is Your Oyster Listen to "Why Take the Easy Route? The World is your Oyster" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Why_Take_the_Easy_Route_The_World_is_your_oyster.mp3 It’s early in the morning, and as my backyard teems with bird life and squirrels, our friendly, crazy woodpecker friend announces his presence with his typical drilling on our fence. It’s a sound I’ve grown accustomed to hearing and a “shout-out” that funny antics are to follow. And so it happens. He never disappoints. His crazy redhead is hanging upside down, sideways, right-side-up, and then he does incredible gymnastics on every feeder in the yard, with the glaring exception of the woodpecker feeder carefully designed for his needs. It even includes a “woodpecker tail-balance bar.” Right — I’ve never seen him even try it!! This little guy reminds me of . . . oh . . . me! Why take the easy route or be limited to one option? The world is my oyster! I’m just looking for pearls the hard way. I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole. Just suffice it to say, he reminds me of me! I hope I’m half as entertaining as this goofy, sweet friend who graces my world each morning. I’m certain that I’m as agile.
0 minutes | Apr 24, 2018
Hold On For The Ride
Hold On For The Ride Listen to "Hold on for the Ride" by Nelda Sue Yaw | from Nelda's Blog http://media.blubrry.com/nelda/content.blubrry.com/nelda/Hold_on_for_Ride-Final.mp3 Sometimes the humor of my life situation reminds me that God has a sense of humor, and will stop at nothing until I quit griping and trying to control things, and just throw back my head with laughter and hold on for the ride.