About the Cover Model
by Annette Pinder
Rose Isolde Bader was born at the side of a road, under a bush in Rivercess, Liberia. Her biological mother, shocked to find she had twins, knew the babies would be killed immediately, because twins were considered evil. The brave young mother found a way to conceal one baby and send her to an orphanage where her sister worked.
Rose followed her aunt to five different orphanages and was subjected to extreme cruelty. Rose gave up all hope of ever being adopted. And then the Zackeys came to Liberia as missionaries. They found Rose delightful, and charmed them with her favorite song, “Who Am I?”
When the Zackeys returned to Buffalo they shared a video of Rose, with their friends, the Baders, who immediately fell in love with her. One day Rose received a phone call from America. The person at the other end said, “Hi Rose, my name is Jodie Bader and if you would like, we would love you to come to America to be a part of our family.” Rose didn’t understand English, but knew what Jodie was asking. She cried silently, and couldn’t talk. “I understood and shock ran through my body. At age 13, I had given up all hope of being adopted.”
And then another miracle happened. The adoption process, which usually takes years, took only eight months. “I talked to the Baders every Saturday and Sunday. They told me they loved me. We talked for hours struggling to understand one another, and sent clothes and gifts.
When Rose’s plane landed in Buffalo in December 2005 she was terrified. “When I saw an escalator I knew life was very different here. I had never seen moving stairs! People were dressed differently, and I ate ice-cream. It was a whole new world.” Rose, now 22, lives in a beautiful home in Williamsville with her siblings ages 31, 28, 18, 17, and 13. She says, “We get along great, and my brothers are always teasing me.”
Rose was homeschooled by her mom for a year before she enrolled at Williamsville South. “I would go onto the computer with my 4-year-old sister and play games to learn how to pronounce words.” Rose graduated in 2011, her English is impeccable, and you would never know she ever spoke a different language.
Rose attended Erie 1 Boces to become a hairdresser, and was on the advisory board of the cosmetology program. What was so appealing about hair and cosmetology? Rose explains, “At the orphanage if one hair was out of place we’d get beaten. So we began braiding one another’s hair at age 5. We’d sit in a huge circle, creating a chain braiding and singing.”
Now Rose works at Capello’s Salon in East Amherst, and is having the time of her life. She loves owner, Joe Freitas, who recognized Rose’s talent, and says the salon is her second home. “I used to sing the national anthem before every basketball game, so one day everyone asked me to sing for them. There I was, with all the customers watching, singing the Star-Spangled Banner!”
Rose tries to stay healthy and enjoys classes, cardio and running at World Gym. She says her mom makes very healthy meals, and shops at the international market downtown on Niagara Street, so that she can prepare familiar Liberian foods. Rose also keeps up on her singing at church, says, “I am so happy. My parents saved my life, and my mom is an angel. I hope someday to become the woman she represents to me.”