Hi Mike

You made such a fuss thinking that I had actually written that I decided
to try my hand at it.

As I look back on my life it is a marvel to me to see that God has had
His hand on me the whole time.  As the oldest of 9 children from a single
parent family I had to help alot.  At age 10 I was learning to cook for
10 people.  As a teenager I took on alot of responsiblity for my brothers
& sisters.  Because of my mother's faith in God I eventually gave my life
to the Lord the night of the blackout July 14, l977.  Three and half
years later when I rededicated God led me to COBU.  God also led me to
move in.  I say God led because I had no need to move in, I had my own
place.  While bros & sis were inviting it was God who finally twisted my
arm.  That is a testimony all by itself.  Knowing the future God knew
where He would lead me and I needed alot of training.

First of all I was born and raised in NYC and loved it. I was also  from
a VERY close knit hispanic family.  My plans were to marry someone not
only darker but also if possible more hispanic than myself so that my
children would look, speak and be more hispanic than I was.  Well
surprise surprise I have none of the above but I am truly thankful for
were God has brought me.

Well by the above paragraph you can well tell that it was a culture shock
moving in for the first time to Philly with alot of white brothers &
sisters.  You have to admit COBU was white in culture. I felt that I had
to become a thin, soft spoken, detached from family anglo.  So what did I
do -I became if possible even more Puerto Rican.  Any one who remembers
me from then will remember that I was PR first, Christian second.  But at
the end of my six years I had learned alot.  Not only where white people
"real people" I learned that there is love and tenderness there also.  It
is just displayed differently than from what I am used to.   I hope I am
not offending anyone.  I am just explaining where I was then and
hopefully give a clear explanation of why where I am now is just AMAZING
to me.

To go into how Dave & I got together is a long testimony all by itself so
I will jump to how after we had been married three years and living in
NYC Dave's brother's kids got taken away by DCF.  Being into family like
I was we decided to move to CT to take the kids and raise them within the
family.  We had expected to take on all six of Alan's kids to make 7 with
Rosie our own but we soon realized Jimmy one of the kids would break the
camel's back and it was already creaking.  Well not only was I removed
from everything familiar to me; friends, family, church family,
transportation, I also needed to get aclimated to surburan life, took a
year to learn how to drive, and New England hospitality or rather LACK OF
IT.  I can tell you I was not a happy camper that first year and then I
got pregnant again so I still ended up with 7 kids (ages now from 3 to

About 2 years ago God asked me if I would have a girl's home for Him I
said sure as long as you give me a housekeeper to go with it.  I was
having alot of difficulty in that area.  Well to make to another long
story short this girl Eliena (friend of my oldest niece since
kindergarden) moved in with me 9 months ago.  She gave birth 3 days
before Christmas.

So in relationship to my culture shock paragraph not only is my husband
white, New England could not be more white in culture and I am raising
white children.  God has a strange sense of humor.  And yet I would not
change anything for the world.  God knowing me better than I know myself
knew I needed challenges in my life to focus on or by my very nature I
would create problems where none existed.  And now by the Grace of God I
am christian first and foremost and being hispanic is just the
springboard from where I jump into His will in my life.

Now cooking for 10 is the norm in my house, my COBU cooking experience
helps when I cook for 300 at the soup kitchen at our church, I have come
to terms with the way Dave's family show their affection and it is
genuine just different, I now consider myself from CT and not a displaced
New York Rican and since when everyone is home we are 11 strong, our
small family car is a 15 passenger van.