Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holla Back.... :(

Leaving Chile....Leaving the place I love so much...Leaving HOME to return home. Half my heart remains here...in my country....with my family...in THIS city that I have loved all my life but have now grown to love even more.

Cruisin' the Calles...

Ever since Aaron got to Chile, we have been cruisin' the calles (streets)...I love the fact that my brother is so adventurous and is always in search of a NEW adventure. He has incredible instinct and always seems to know the cool places to go. His presence in Chile has enriched my trip even more --- as Samson and I would not have adventured out to HALF the places that Aaron has influenced us to go.

Scope Out San Cristobal....

The Virgen Mary sits at the tippy top of San Cristobal. This is a very religous site for the Chilean people. They often hike the mountain to walk for the Virgen. There are 4 ways to access the Virgen...#1- walk the rough rocky mountain...#2- ride in a cable car...#3- drive....#4- ride a train.

We took a cab a little bit up the mountain...we then began our hike to the top. To be honest, I didnt make it to the top. I decided to stop about 5 minutes shy of the final descend to the Virgen. My feet were blistered and bleeding from the hike thus far, and the final descend was about 150 hand carved steps. I sat with my mom and little sister as my husband and my moms husband hiked to the top. They got some pictures of Samson right under the Virgen and Samson took pictures of the notes that people leave by her side. ( In Judiasm, which is my religion- people worship the Western Wall, the way the Chileans do the Virgen).

Anyways, check out the flicks and as my entire Chilean family always says..."may the Virgen always protect you..."


Monday, December 22, 2008

Santiago Skyline....

Check these flicks of the Santiago Skyline...its a little smoggy but the smog has started to clear up since we have been here.

The smog stays trapped in the city due to the mountains that surround this darling little city. LOVE being amongst my people...LOVE being in the place where I was born...and yes, I even LOVE being trapped in the SMOG!!!

"P" is for PROVIDENCIA.....

Aaron has arrived!!! We spent the day walking around Providencia...the community where he was born. Its reallyyyy beautiful here, and there is also a longggg line to use the computer. I will be back soon ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Day In Maipu...

Samson and I spent Wednesday in Maipu with my Aunt, Uncle, big sister and cousins. It was really beautiful!!!! Below are some pictures of the temple of maipu...i will write more about its history when i have the time. Unfortunately the internet here is very slow and very expensive.

Me and My Mama....

Ive spent almost every single day with my mom since I have arrived. Sometimes I climb up in her lap like a little baby because I never had the chance to do it as a little girl.

Despite the fact I weigh 125 pounds, my mom loves having me in her lap...below are a few pictures of us. My little sister is in the last one too...she HATES pictures but Samson has caught a few shots of her! We are having a great time...will post more in a little ;)

Monday, December 15, 2008


Last night we went to my mothers house. They had a HUGE BBQ for us and all the family was there. My big sister Scarlett and I found we had LOTS in common...including identical hands, fingers, feet, and toes. We have similar eating habits- sometimes we eat ALL day and sometimes we go days without eating.

My little sister was reallyyyyy nervous and shy...she spent most of the evening in the house. My sister Scarlett and I are pictured above. We shared a piece of chicken for dinner and held hands as we sat on my mothers patio. And below that, is my shy sister Silvia. She had a BALL playing with my digital camera :)

First HUGS....

I made it!!! Despite a MASSIVE panic attack on the LONG flight, I arrived in Chile and ran safely into my Mothers arms for the first time in 25 years...below are pictures of this emotional event. And a group shot of my entire family at the airport...they were all waiting for us :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When Adoptees Know Their Birth Mother...

Like listening to NPR? I do.

Found this story while I was sitting here with my DAWG and listening to the internet radio on my lunch break. It's about how open adoptions (or open-ness within adoptions) can help lead to healthier relationships for all members of the "adoption triad." Take a listen if you would like.

I suppose I should link you all to information about the Adoption Triad since I have mentioned it and some people may not know what I am talking about. Unfortunately as I mentioned, I am on my lunch break and do not have the time now. I will be back tomorrow to provide info. on that.

Hope you all are having a GOOD one. Chaoooo!

Gimme Shelter...

I've been having these crying spells. I can't seem to shelter my lonely little soul... can't seem to soothe my fragile little spirit. My emotions are running WILD- I leave in 3 days :)

I've learned to post from my blackberry, which makes me really excited!!! I don't have a computer at work but if I can master this mobile uploading madness, I will soon be posting entries AND pictures from this useful device. FUN!

That's all for now. More later...PEACE.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My travel companion is my companion for LIFE...

I could say a million things about my wonderful husband. He will be traveling with me for the entire duration of my reunion and we made a vow to one another almost 3 years ago to travel together through LIFE.

Of course, we have our issues...we have been involved with eachother for 11 years, which brings lots of GOOD history and naturally some BAD history but we are determined to make our marriage work. Instead of rambling on about my travel companion and my companion for LIFE, I have decided to post pictures of our life together thus far. The videos are the songs we danced to at our wedding...the lyrics describe us best :)

I love you babe...thanks for loving me the way you do.

Friday, December 5, 2008

"And a little child shall lead them..."

I read only one blog on a daily basis. I don't have much time for blogging but I enjoy this blog and have found it's the only blog thus far, that I consistantly seem to enjoy reading. She writes about everything...but I particularly LOVE her knowledge on international adoption.

Her most recent blog was about transracial adoptions...LOVE IT and MUST talk about it!

I have mentioned before in my blog the pain of having my racial identity supressed by my parents. Particularly my father who probably secretly hates me for being so relentless in discovering my racial identity and for demanding that he NOT refer to me as "white."

WELL, I am not the only one hurting...

As, THIS article points out, "for a transracial adoptee, race is like another missing parent. In fact, transracial adoptees hunger for heritage at a younger age than their white counterparts, searching for their parents on average five years earlier (25.8 vs 31.2), and looking not just for parents but also for a racial identity."

And check THIS article for some informative bits of knowledge on how transracial adoptions are viewed by adoptees, as well as professionals who have been reseacrhing the topic for decades.

Ohhhh, I am SUPER happy that the one blog I follow happens to be managed by a social worker who is always researching this topic.

When reading the information she provided (and that I have now linked YOU all to check out) I came across the biblical quote "and a little child shall lead them" Isaiah 11:6. It made me burst into tears. I want to be the little child that leads her parents into recognizing the importance of finding racial and cultural identity. I don't want them to be mad at me but I want them to investigate exactly how CRUCIAL this is.

I cried like a baby again when I finished watching a video Laura had posted...the final sentence of the video read- "Possessions in my hands will never be as valuable as peace in my heart."

By the way...Have I mentioned I leave to reunite with my family in Chile in 7 days?!?!?

PEACE OUT my friends :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ONE week!!!

I am leaving next week...You gotta be kidding me. The emotions are UNREAL. To be honest, the emotions are painful.

Once, one of my sister-in-laws told me that I "wouldn't need to see a psychiatrist if I was adopted into a black family"...she claimed they (the black adopters) would have told me to "stop crying and just go to school" if being adopted was bothering me.


Being adopted is not the easiest thing to deal with. Although I refuse to fall victim to anything, I must say that what I am feeling right now is NOT something that would change if I was adopted by black people or any other race for that matter.

Ignorance bothers me. Badly.

More later ;) GOODNIGHT!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Grace and Arnold opened a museum in Ruidoso, New Mexico!!! Check out all that The Ruidoso River Museum has to offer here. ALL the hard work and effort it took to build this creation is probably one of the main reasons Mr. Duke and Grace are always so busy.

I am so proud of these two!!! This is an incredible accomplishment for two incredible people :)

Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving, Congratulations to Grace and Arnold Duke and HAIL TO THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS!!!!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Memories Don't Live Like People Do...

A year ago, almost to the EXACT hour that I am posting this blog...The Washington Redskins safety, Sean Taylor, was shot by intruders in his Miami home. He lost his life the following day.

Washington, DC went into shock. Fans rolled up to Redskins Park and our home stadium, FED EX FIELD. They were holding candles...they were crying...they sat outside ALL NIGHT LONG, praying for a football player they had grown to love.

This post is a TRIBUTE to #21...may you be resting peacefully with the angels above...may you know that your presence is missed and that not a day, month or year will go by when you are not remembered.

Memories do not live like people do...but it is us, the living, that the deceased live through.

To read a great article on Sean Taylor and the way his team is feeling a year after his death click here.
To donate to a memorial fund to benefit Taylor's young daughter that he left behind, click here.
April 1, 1983 - November 27, 2007

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So Others Might Eat...

I am SUPER appreciative that my family has always enforced the importance of giving back to my community and to those who have less than myself, even if I don't have a lot.

My daddy taught me at an early age that it was better to do a million favors for someone (and get nothing in return), than it was to be the one asking for favors. Through serving the homeless people (of our nations capital) I was taught by my mother, that a little bit of help can bring BIG smiles to typically sad faces.

I was taught by my Grandparents to never be greedy and to always put something aside for those that live differently than myself. They taught me the importance of GIVING. And I was taught by my ever-loving Bubbie to always be kind because you just never know what people are dealing with and you get NOTHING out of being grouchy. I am hoping to pass all these values on to my son and any future children I may have. I feel it is essential to start EARLY and lead by example. Don't talk about it and send checks- just get out there and DO IT.

With no further said, Dominick and I will be participating in our second fund raising 5K race this year. Yup, I said it- my 5 year old runs (walks) 3.25 mile races with me to benefit those less fortunate or to fight diseases that have touched our lives.

Since it is Thanksgiving, I will be emphasizing to Dominick how thankful we are for having a HOME and FAMILY to eat with and celebrate with...and for THAT reason we are running (Dominick = walking) in the 7th annual S.O.M.E. Turkey Trot!!!!

S.O.M.E. stands for "So Others Might Eat" and this non-profit organization has been serving the homeless community of Washington, DC for years. They provide food, clothing, healthcare, and plenty other services. The TURKEY TROT is a race to raise money to feed the homeless a GOOD Thanksgiving dinner in a warm shelter. Have you ever stopped to think about those that have no place to go on Thanksgiving day?

If you have it in your heart to help the homeless...trot off a few calories with Dominick and I on Thanksgiving Day before you stuff your face with oodles of calories later at your hearty feast. Or if attending an 8:30 am race does not appeal to you, you could always make a small donation and sponser Dominick and I in our RACE to stop hunger! 100% of the proceeds go directly to the organization :)

To read more about this TURKEY TROT, click here.

To donate and support us, hit THIS puppy!



Friday, November 21, 2008

By the "Grace" of GOOD people...

So, I owe my search and reunion process to LOTS of very special people. I am not sure how to express gratitude to all those who have helped me throughout this grueling but beautiful procedure.

I suppose first thanks goes to my mom and dad. Thanks for supporting me in my determined search for self. Although it took a few years to squeeze my adoption papers outta you two, I am so appreciative you passed them over. Thanks for helping me with my trip, thanks for helping to care for Dominick while we are away...thanks for being my mom and dad. I love you guys and will forever be your little girl.

Second, I owe a HUGE thanks to my Chilean friends that assisted in HUNTING down my biological mama! THANK YOU Gabriella and Natalia. I don't think any of this would have been possible without either of you. I won't ever be sure what made you respond to a strangers request for help BUT I am deeply gracious for that compelling force.

Third, to GRACE & ARNOLD. By the "Grace" of Arnold- I am returning home. I really don't think words explain a story like this. I really don't think words explain HUMANS like these two. I'll give it a shot...

Grace works with me on occaision and after getting to know me, we began discussing more personal issues with one another when my adoption story came to topic. Grace was touched and interested. She is genuine and asked questions...she seemed to really care. She went home and shared the information with her heroic husband, Arnold.

Mr. Arnold, without hesitation said he was sending me home to Chile....his wife reported the news to me at work one day. "WHAT?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? WHY ME?!"...I cried as Grace told me of her husbands offer. We both cried. We embraced. My body was quivering, overwhelmed with emotion.

Mr. Duke doesn't respond to my emails. I spoke to him to thank him, to which he simply replied- "giving is better than receiving, I can't wait to see pictures"...do people like you really exist, Mr. Duke? Yes...they do. And YOU are living proof.
Mr. Duke is energetic! You can see it in his pictures...his spirit SHINES BRIGHT through a photographic lense. I can only imagine the energy he gives off in person. I can't wait to come back from my trip and meet Arnold. I can't wait to share ALL my pictures and stories with him.

Grace is just as beautiful inside as she is on her outter shell. She is laid back, always smiling, and a natural nurturer. She is a hard working, devoted mother. She is strong but sensitive. She is pretty, energetic and AWESOME. She is a good listener, a sweet, sweeeet soul. Grace is graceful and GREAT.

Grace and Arnold are pictured below :)

And here is Grace...under a rainbow :)

And finally, I owe a HUGE thanks to everyone that has been supporting me and everyone who continuously supports me in every aspect of my life. My old friends, my new friends, my family, my in-laws....EVERYONE. You all know who you are :)