short story | taurian + baby meridian | writing + photography by: katee grace

found a calling | taurian | story + photography
found a calling | taurian | story + photography

Taurian smiles as she recalls her first memories of her father– his arms wide open asking her to come to him. Sadly, however, those same hands did not tuck her in each night, nor did they hold her hand as she walked home from school. Her parents were unable to care for her because they were teens themselves, so she was raised by her grandparents in South Central Los Angeles. When Taurian talks about her life she repeatedly and enthusiastically states: “I’m so blessed.”

found a calling | taurian | story + photography
found a calling | taurian | story + photography

Graduating from NYU with a bachelor’s degree, she knew that she wanted to spend her life helping people. Her dedication to serving and fighting for refugees took her to Ghana, Africa. Unfortunately, while she was there, she found herself in desperate need of help. She was 23 years old, pregnant and the baby’s dad was nowhere to be found. She eventually was able to return to the States just in time to give birth to her beautiful daughter, Meridian. Taurian gave birth at home, completely unassisted, and absolutely convinced that the Lord saw her through.

Just two weeks after Meridian was born, Taurian began to search for help within her community. That search led her to WPC, where she not only received the parenting tools and support that she had been desperate for, but also incredible relationships that would see her through this new experience. Her WPC counselor began mentoring her through “mommy-hood”, something she had never truly been on the receiving end of. Her counselor continually expressed a sincere love and care for Taurian and her family and shared her own personal experience, which not only created a space of trust in the relationship but challenged Taurian’s will and ability.

As she continues in the Westside Pregnancy Clinic’s Parenting Support Program, Taurian is learning skills specific to her life and the needs of her baby. In her own words, “My deepest desire is to change the tide of absent parents in the lives of their children. With the help of WPC I have a shoulder to lean on, and believe I can overcome my past circumstances and truly make a difference.” With this new found hope, Taurian is ready for a fresh start and she and her baby girl moved to Paris, France this past fall to start her singing career.

found a calling | taurian | story + photography

It is truly an honor to have spent a day with Taurian and her precious buddle of joy Meridian and gotten to write this short story.  Not only did she warmly invite me into her life, her day, her world, but her heart shone through so beautifully as she so naturally invited me in.  As I walked in the door of her home I immediately felt at home, relaxed and welcome.  The day we spent together was lovely and memorable as I recall being introduced around town as her friend.  Not only did she cook a delish curry dinner for me before I hit the road, but she packed snacks for both of us.  Her actions of inviting me in through food and kind introductions were truly just the outward display of her genuine and honest desire to truly connect.  As I read writings she had written over the years I wished my time with her was going to be longer than one day.   It is one thing to have a great display of hospitality but to genuinely open open to each other is so how we were created and so the desire of God, and this genuine and true type of relating with people is what I experienced during my time with Taurian.

Writing this short story you see just a glimpse into the remarkable woman that Taurian is and the challenges that she has overcome.  I almost feel this cannot be called a short story because to me a short story implies many more words, but for the purposes and needs of the Westside Pregnancy Clinic in LA I was privileged to write this short story as part of a series I did for them for their annual gala.

much love | katee grace | santa barbara writer and santa barbara photographer

in the beginning

Having determined their fixed boundaries,” this is one instance where God through the scriptures plainly tells us that He is intimately involved in our lives, in a very real and practical way, right down to where we call home.

We all have a desire to be understood and have a place in the world, and from a young age we begin searching for our place in the world through “pretend,” “dress up” and “house.”  These “make-believe” games are meant not only to be entertainment and just for play time but also stir in us as children, a very real sense of belonging and our need for that. Whether it’s being picked over for the ball game at school, not getting the role in the school play that is our most fantasy-like character, struggling with education and the system that surrounds it, we have begun our search for belonging and subsequent rejection at a very young age, even in the most sheltered of environments.

According to God, He has created each of us on purpose, He made your hair the texture that He thought most beautiful for your eyes, and the tinting of your complexion, the shape of your nose and the position of your teeth and He has also given gifts of abilities and passions to each of us that differ from one another and if we continue to look at life like the unattained role in the school play, looking at our role as something lesser, then I fear we may miss the extravagant and loving purposes of God for our lives.

I would like to welcome you to this series of insights, stories, photographs… this is a glimpse into one girl’s journey through life that intersects with many others and the beautiful way that God designed our journey through life to be, in community. Thank you for coming by and I look forward to getting to know you more over the course of time.
much love + peace,
katee grace | xoxo

Katee Grace | Santa Barbara Photographer | Writer