the story behind our name
Posted on February 11 2020
I graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 with a degree in Communicative Disorders. I only applied to one graduate school and was waitlisted. It didn’t leave me with many options as far as a job because you have to have a Masters Degree to be a Speech Language Pathologist. I was super confused on what to do as far as a job and honestly was questioning my purpose and what God really wanted me to do after college. I felt extremely defeated and rejected. It was hard to see all my friends accepting these great jobs, getting into law school & medical school. I was so happy for them, but I just felt so lost. It was really hard. I acted like I was fine because I didn’t want anyone to know how sad I really was. So I pretended to be happy with how things were turning out.
So I decided to go to Thailand on a mission trip that summer after graduating from college. That is really when God gave me new courage in myself. He reminded me that He had a purpose for my life. The people I met there and the opportunities that God gave me showed me that I was still capable of doing great things. That He still had a plan for my life, even though it didn’t look like what I thought it was going to look like.
The last week in Thailand we were working in an orphanage. I met a little girl named Pague. The moment I met her, I knew she was something special. She was so shy and quiet, and I could tell she had already been through a lot in her life. I began to ask God what He had in store for this new relationship with Pague. I knew it was more than just meeting her in Thailand and spending a few days with her at this orphanage. I can’t even explain what exactly it was about her that made me know this. It was like God had laid it on my heart to just KNOW. I couldn't explain it. The last night I decided to speak with the pastor at the orphanage and sponsor her financially. She didn’t speak any English, so the pastor translated for us and she told me her story. My heart absolutely sank as I saw her cry. She was only 7 years old and had experienced so much pain. Her father had been in prison for most of her life. Her mother could not afford to support her and her sister, so she turned to prostitution. You could just see the pain in her eyes and how she just so desperately wanted to be loved. We just hugged and cried for what seemed like hours. Although there was a language barrier, it was a moment I will never forget.
When my parents picked me up from the airport, the first thing I told them about the whole summer was Pague. We all cried as I began to explain her story and the impact she had made on me. We all felt this deep love for this precious little girl. The first thing my mom said was “She needs to be here with us, what do we need to do to get her here?” This was so crazy to hear and it just confirmed even more that something big was going to come from meeting her. Almost immediately, we began emailing with the orphanage if this would even be a possibility. After discussing our options, the best option was to foster her for 5 years and then hopefully adopt her into our family, if that is what she wanted. She agreed to this and was very excited! So we started the process of getting everything ready paperwork wise, getting her clothes, and even bought our plane tickets to Thailand to meet with the government. A month before we were supposed to go, we got a call from the pastor that Pague's mom had a change of heart and that she wasn’t ready to let her daughter go to the US. She decided that she wanted to become a bigger part of Pague’s life. It was incredibly hard to hear because we felt like she was already a part of our family. She ultimately belonged to God and He was the only one who knew what was best for her. Selfishly, we wanted her to be here with us. But knowing that this could potentially unite her family, it made it worth it to go through it.
Personally, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I don’t think lot of people realize that, because we really didn’t broadcast any of it at all. Just very close friends and family knew about us fostering her so it was a very hard, private struggle. But from all of that heartbreak and disappointment came something so beautiful. God gave us this vision and dream for Poppy & Rose.
Poppy & Rose is actually is named after Pague. We had planned to call her Poppy while she lived here. While I was in Thailand, she gave me the nickname Goulab, which means rose. I told mom about the idea and she loved it! So we decided to open a store together. We literally went the next day and got our business license! We have both always loved fashion, so it just seemed like a great way to honor and give back to Pague from across the world.
Poppy & Rose has been an incredible journey so far. There has been a lot of trial & error! It is special to have a business that is so meaningful to us, and to be able to share it with other people. As you can see, it is much more than a clothing business to us. We want to use it as a platform to inspire others & give hope. Poppy & Rose was founded on giving back to our sweet Pague. Now we want to know what YOU are passionate about, and help you give back to that too!