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"Scenic Roots" offers conversations that matter in the heart of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.From the mountains to the river, our conversations are rooted deep within every corner of our community - reflecting who we are, who we were and who we can become.We engage with the news that affects our community, behind and beyond the headlines. We build bridges that span from creators and innovators to storytellers and the outdoors. We focus on our challenges as many communities in one - as we celebrate what inspires us. We resonate with countless voices - in words and spaces, sounds and songs.We are "Scenic Roots."Ray Bassett hosts and produces "Scenic Roots" at WUTC.

"Separated By The Border"

If you listen to “Morning Edition,” you may have heard Gena Thomas.  

She wrote a book - called, “Separated By The Border:  A Birth Mother, A Foster Mother, And A Migrant Child’s 3,000-Mile Journey.”


It is the story of a girl whom Gena calls “Julia” - who left Honduras two years ago with her stepfather and her mother.


The smugglers taking them to the United States kidnapped Julia’s mother and forced her into prostitution.  When Julia and her stepfather made it to the U.S.-Mexico border, they were separated.  


Julia was placed with extended family in North Carolina - but the abusive conditions there brought her to the U.S. foster care system, and a social worker called Gena Thomas.


Gena and her husband Andrew - who are evangelical Christians - had served as missionaries in Mexico and had fostered children before.  


For four months, they looked after Julia, eventually reuniting her with her mother in Honduras.


Gena - who now lives here in Chattanooga with her husband and their children - came to our studio...