A Family ….

A family loves …. by care and embrace ….

A family endures …. by hope and strength ….

A family forgives …. by heart and humility ….

A family waits …. by courage and faith ….

A family compromises …. by patience and understanding ….

A family overcomes …. by unity and prowess ….

A family survives …. by prayer and protection ….

A family fulfills …. by laughter and loyalty ….

A family heals …. by cuddles and kisses ….

A family stands …. by design and dreams ….


A Moral Absolute.

So many things happen to one in one’s lifetime.

Memories cherished, mistakes made, lessons learned, goals accomplished, milestones reached …. changes, loving, learning, growing …. It’s life, and it is made up of a million decisions.

There are some things that happen that are forgivable.

This situation with my niece, my neighbor, and this conniving couple is definitely not one of them.

There is no explanation that would ever make sense, no apology that would ever suffice. 

There are certain things in life that you just don’t do.

They are moral absolutes.

This is one of them.

You don’t sell your neighbor’s baby off, especially for profit of any kind; is she insane or just inhuman?

You don’t use your own infertility as an excuse to take advantage of a scared, young, and vulnerable girl. You back her into a decision that you knew full well she should not be making on her own, knowing she wasn’t capable enough to make such a decision. ( But more than capable with family support, as we all are in any given situation ).

You don’t sneak an adoption past a family that would have held on to their baby with both hands, ( which they all knew ) had they just been told. You met purposely in secret. You planned your happiness in the face of another’s demise and duress …. Tsk … Tsk … Tsk … Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you. One day, you will look into the face of that child and explain why you did this in such a brutal fashion. Why you made sure you twisted the knife that you helped stick in our backs.

Serious allegations, backed by paperwork that has yet to come to light.

The clock ticking ever so slowly, but it is ticking. It feels like a bomb with a very long fuse.

I don’t get how such a small group of people could have left this disaster behind them and not even blink an eye. It’s appalling and it makes me so angry. It hurts more than anything I have ever been through, any of us have been through, or will ever go through.

Nothing could ever make this right.

Nothing would make it fair.

It was wrong in every way.




Sometimes ….

Sometimes I  just watch the sky …. waiting for falling stars to wish on ….

Sometimes I close my eyes …. and imagine how I want things to be ….

Sometimes I wake from a nightmare ….  pleading with God to save my family ….

Sometimes I let myself cry …. grateful the tears are kissed from my face ….

Sometimes I feel so helpless …. held up by love when my knees give way ….

Sometimes there are more questions than answers …. you make sense of what you can ….

Sometimes the darkness tries to take over …. with just a prayer it all becomes brighter than the sun ….

Sometimes all you have is your hope …. all of your wishes wrapped up in all of your dreams ….




The Healing Heart <3

My heart seems to be healing.

Not because I have given up, let go, or gone through however many steps books about grief claim you’re supposed to go through before the healing process begins.

I am so full of sorrow all these years later, it feels no less suffocating.

I’ve fallen asleep talking to God, swallowed up by this heartache that there are no words for.

Everyone I love, suffering around me, their hearts as broken as mine. The thoughts spin around in my mind and keeping myself in bed at night is often a task. I feel so much anxiety that I have to resist the urge to jump up, throw on my All-Star Chucks, grab my keys, and be out. Saving our lives in the middle of the night; it’s a job that I couldn’t wear my heels for.

I want my niece home.

I want to be the one to teach her and protect her.

If I focus on what I’ve missed, it is too heavy. All I can do is look toward the future, and that dream is something I both cling to and cherish.

There are no words to describe what it feels like to be kept from someone who you not only love, but are ‘ in-love ‘ with. It’s like living without your heart. You think about her every day …. her laughter, her tears …. it is agonizing.

When your heart has been broken and it begins to heal, it’s like a little magic happens.

You find yourself blushing again, being silly again, sleeping the whole night through and waking up rested. It is a small miracle to feel like because you have given something to God that you can rest, at least through the night.

I find that I am a stronger person than I ever realized …. more loved than I imagined, more adored than I ever believed, more cared about than I ever even knew. I get middle of the night messages, middle of the night French fries and milkshakes …. looked after and held dear.

Being ‘ loved through ‘ a painful situation, by friends, lovers and the like, has been a blessing. When your heart hurts, you don’t need anything else hurting it. You need extra gentle hugs, extra passionate kisses, extra tenderness. You need understanding that goes beyond reason.

Crazy love, happy like, secret surprises, little notes from my students, stars are in my eyes and butterflies flutter in all my senses …. I have started painting again, writing poetry again, sitting on the beach with good books, writing over the city lights …. my heart is healing, and even though I know it will feel broken again tomorrow, I know that tomorrow it will also heal.

I feel peaceful, I feel calm, I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and being in the home stretch of this thing brings a relief that is much-needed.

It only confirms that what I have said all along …. Love is the strongest force and through it and with it, anything is possible ….








Writing Projects

Before this happened to us, I used to write all kinds of things. It is very rare that a day goes by that I don’t write. I in fact get teased that ‘ a writer writes, always . ‘

As a writer, I write what I know. I hardly ever write something that is fiction because I have too much non-fiction to tell. After this happened to us, I stopped writing poetry, memoirs of love, and anything else colorful.

I really miss writing about something other than my broken heart so a few moths ago, I started working on some pieces of writing that make my spirit feel light and luminous. I wanted to share this intimate side of me with my niece and give her an idea of the creative soul that I am at heart.

Below are the writing projects I have decided to work on over the next year. These five subjects should keep me very busy and I’m excited to see them when they are all complete!

Follow me along the journey ‘ In The Mind Of A Writer ‘ ….


” Behind Closed Doors ” – Because of the turmoil in our lives, certain things were happening in our home.

We behaved in certain ways, the everyday noise became different, the mood began to darken.

You never know what is going on in people’s lives because you don’t get to see inside their homes to see

what is going on.

You never know what people are going through or what they are trying to survive.

I want to travel around, choosing the front door of a home that calls out to me, take a photo, and

proceed to knock on the door and find out the story of what is going on inside.

You never know who has a story to tell. Maybe they have had something happen that they are trying to escape

or forget or rejoice, celebrate, etcetera, and never had a voice to tell it.

I have a way with people and this is a project I will take on with serious heart because I have been mentally

working on it for years and would love to see it come to life ….


” What Happens When The Lights Go Down” – When the day turns to night, everything seems to change.

In the night, in the dark.

I have been privileged the access to a world that most have not.

In the streets of  the biggest cities; places like San Francisco, Oakland, and Las Vegas, there is a whole different

operating world at night. Homelessness, drugs, fights, robberies, people living and surviving under bridges and

underpasses; some of the world wakes up when the rest of the world goes to sleep ….

I’ve been given a key to that nighttime world through my bloodline and my street bond and it makes for

great pieces of writing and reading ….


” Around the World ” – I have been all over. A missionary, vacations, family reunions, 40 hour road trips to

Mexico, by ship, by plane, I have always gone somewhere. I have seen nighttime cliff divers, life in mud huts

near the Amazon Rain Forest, The Inca Ruins, underground Raves in the Biggest Little City in the World,

went horseback riding in the water in the Bahamas ….

I’ve had the best meals and experienced once-in-a-lifetime memories both near and far.

The people I meet are as unique as the places I meet them in and that excitement is what has made me

a giddy world traveler.

I would love to write about where to go, what to do, and how to go about doing it. I put together

great itineraries on a budget and know how to get around with barely a map.


” What Parts Of Your Innocence Do You Wish You Had Back ” – There is a part of oneself that

exists before all the ‘ugly’ happens to us in life. What part of your innocence or childhood do you miss?

Do you miss cuddling in bed with your mom for your bedtime stories?

Do you wish you still believed in fairies that live in a magical garden?

Do you wish you didn’t live in a world of constant fear and social media overload?

What part of yourself  do you wish you could get back?


” Love and Liaisons ” –  Some love is meant to endure a lifetime; behind the white picket

fence, everything cliché is happening beyond those gates.

The husband, the wife, the kids, the dog (or cat), 9-5 jobs and filled with football

practices and laundry baskets.

Some relationships are just the opposite.

Secretly meeting in hotel rooms, fulfilling fantasies, no attachments; you crave the carefree, the mystery.

Whether it is a lifetime, or over one night, they are both very profound in the experience ….



Shattered Vs. Broken

Shattered and broken.

Stop and think about that for a second. What do those words actually mean?

In terms of the dictionary shattered is defined as :     to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.) – to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.) – to damage, as by breaking or crushing – to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow – to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.

Broken by definition is :     reduced to fragments; fragmented, ruptured; torn; fractured, not functioning properly; out of working order – changing direction abruptly – fragmentary or incomplete – infringed or violated – to smash, split, or divide into parts violently – reduce to pieces or fragments – to destroy or interrupt the regularity, uniformity, continuity, or arrangement of – to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted – to become detached, separated, or disassociated – to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else – to express or start to express an emotion or mood.

If all that were a checklist about this clandestine adoption, I would mark ‘ yes ‘ across the board, without a second thought.

All the technical terms aside, is the only difference between the two the amount of pieces you end up with when you finally look up and survey the damage?

Everything shattered.  

Can’t form a thought, can’t make a memory.

Crying actually hurts, it’s not just tears running down your face. 

It makes your body ache.

It makes your senses numb.

It makes your survival instinct go into overdrive.

Shattered makes you scream out loud, broken makes you not want to speak.

I have felt my heart beat so fast it felt like it was going to explode in my chest.

I have felt my heart beat so slowly that it felt like it just wanted to stop beating.

My heart has beat so hard that I heard it thumping in my ears.

Shattered …. broken  …. they’re more than just words …. both require much understanding of the person behind the story. What are the circumstance behind their tender heart?

I’m a lover, and when you’re a lover, whose heart gets broken, (shrug shoulders here) it’s like you die. There’s no nice way to say that. This pain grabs hold of you and you have to wiggle your way out of its powerful grip.

My family and I are recovering the best we can and trying to cope with a shattered, broken mess.

I’ve had to relearn everything because everything I thought I knew was all wrong and upside down. I no longer felt the same about any thing or any one. I no longer felt safe. My warm heart; gone. Happy, wild & crazy fun, bouncing Bay-Life Beach Boricua became an empty, sad, guarded, suspicious, hot mess of spinning-fast emotions. Eleven years later, and it feels like yesterday. It takes effort each passing day to stay hopeful and positive, strong, and patient.

Since my life split into two equal parts, before and after my niece, I’ve questioned to myself, and asked many others over the years, if they thought you could actually die from a broken heart. I’ve written about it several times because ‘ death by broken heart ‘ is something that is extremely relevant to me. I feel the answer is a definite YES and you only know that to be true if you have experienced it. I’m talking about true pain, true disappointment, true hurt. Not the kind of ‘ they don’t have these chunky platforms in my size ‘ kind of disappointment. It’s a roller coaster of up, down, rolls around, stop, go, quick and unexpected turns that make your stomach drop ….

Shattered; broken …. it’s not who I am, it’s not what defines me, it is something that HAPPENED to me. It is something that happened to us. When you’re in a million pieces and every person you love most in the world is in a million pieces, you find yourself not only stopping to smell the roses, but appreciating every petal. And that’s the way I look at it …. you can be shattered or broken like pieces of glass or you can be shattered and broken like scattered rose petals ….

I choose the roses ….