Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Getting to Know Jordan
We want you to get to know some of the voices and faces that make up Thistle Farms. Carolyn, a volunteer in our community (a fabulous PR assistant, fellow blogger and road manager to the stars!), sat down with Jordan a couple months ago to find out a little about her story. The accompanying photos of Jordan and her sweet daughter Keisha, were taken by Kristina Krug, another volunteer (and fabulous photographer) who has been helping to visually chronicle the story of this community and our wonderful women.
Jordan was born in San Paolo, Brazil and spent her early years in an orphanage. At 7, Jordan, her brother, and sister, were adopted by a couple from Florida. Starting a life with her new family felt like “being freed from bondage,” but the effects of abuse she encountered while in the orphanage still remained.
I look at a picture every so often when I can….it’s a picture of me, my brother and sister. The way the orphanage was, there was a gate in front of it – a huge gate – and there’s a picture of us in front of the gate, with the gate closed. Every single time I look at that picture, I’m like, ‘yeah, we made it. We made it through all that to get here.’ The abuse part – and everything - we were able to overcome all that, so we could be adopted. God sent for us to get adopted. At first I was very bitter about it. I mean, it still hurts and I’ve still got a lot of anger about it and stuff I need to work on, but I plan on going back to Brazil and visiting my native country. My dream as a little girl was, 'I’m gonna go back and free orphans from that place.’
At 15, the effects of the abuse finally caught up with her. She began to act out and was placed in state custody and spent the next three years bouncing around between various group homes and suffering even more abuse. At 18, she began using drugs and alcohol and soon started selling and prostituting, under the watchful eye of an abusive boyfriend.
When she was placed in jail for the last time, she discovered she was pregnant and was determined to turn her life around for her and her baby. After giving birth to sweet Keesha, Jordan placed her child with a close friend while she could focus on getting herself clean.
She has been a resident of Magdalene since October of 2007 and through group meetings, treatment and IOP (intensive outpatient program), Jordan is clean and on a path to living a healthy life for her and her daughter. She is also on the Thistle Farms team and makes lip balms and body balms (her favorite scents are Tuscan Earth and Citrus Vanilla!).
She has learned that, although change is uncomfortable, if you want to keep going down a clean path, you have to allow yourself to change without resistance. She has also seen how love is the power of true healing. When asked what she would do to help another woman in her position, she said, “the first thing I would do is tell her that I love her.”
Written by Carolyn Snell.
Photographs by Kristina Krug.