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.”
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.
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