Yes, Elizabeth, it is true. Didn’t happen on Thanksgiving Day but close. I gave shelter to a runaway teenager from Miami, born in Honduras and brought here to escape the crime there and live with a father she didn’t know. He was abusive and after three years, she escaped, ending up 350 miles north, hiding out with a her brother-in-law’s niece who was a college student in my city. I knew the niece and her roommate, leading to my offer of a home to the runaway girl. Nine months later, I adopted her. Funny that it was nine months, the same time it takes to gestate a baby. She was 17 but you wouldn’t give her more than 13. Abuse stunts a child.

She is 31 now, mother to the grandchildren I write about often. That one decision to shelter a runaway changed my life in every way. Helping her gave me the courage to leave my husband after 28-years of marriage. It was through her that I met my current husband, an immigrant from Argentina. I would not be the person I am now if not for her. That is a lot to be grateful for.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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