You might ask how I got here. Sometimes I'm not sure myself, but I think I was always destined to be here. I am sure it was from God because the seed was planted when I was quite young.

I just wanted to be a mother and a wife. Well, I was a wife for 30 years but that didn't work out so well, so I decided to be just a mom. That is going pretty good so far. I say, so far, because it's an ongoing life and job.

I was 27 and had 5 kids under 5. A set of twins helped this equation. My 3rd child was a little girl, who just happened to be born with Down Syndrome. I was 25. The other 4 were boys. I went on to adopt 3 more girls. Two were born with Down Syndrome and 1 with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

So 5 kids and a husband. We (I) decided  to move to the mountains. So off to the Santa Cruz mountains to buy a huge home on the side of a hill. Some people called this a little Winchester  Mystery House. It really wasn't that odd, but when I fixed it so I appeared out of a closet when guest where there, it became a mystery.

We had fun in that house. The kids all tell me they loved growing up there. It wasn't a lovely home but one filled with lots of activity and noise. We had dogs, cats, opossums and other creatures. Finding a big yellow banana slug on the wall wasn't fun, but it went along with the territory.

Sad things went on during these years but this isn't a sad story so I will leave that for another time.

Eventually I felt the desire to have another baby. Specifically a baby girl with Down Syndrome. So we started the process and 9 months after getting approved we got the call. She was 9 days old and a 10lb little girl, with lots of black hair. She was Hispanic. Her mom was a 44 year old migrant worker who had 10 other kids in Mexico and no husband. I loved this little girl with everything I had because my life wasn't so great and she plugged a hole in my heart that was very empty.

Life was good sometimes and not so good others. But, isn't that what life is. She grew to be the cutest little girl and was loved by her sister and brothers so much. Once she got over her obsession with me, obviously caused by me, she became everyone's sweetie. She can still light up the room with her smile.

Her big sister, also with Down Syndrome adored her but was missing having a sister her age. So I decided to find another daughter. We found this one in the newspaper. She was 11 and in a foster home. She was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This means her mom was a severe Alcoholic and it caused this baby to be born at 2.8 lbs, with a severe cleft palette and failure to thrive. She spent her first 3 years mostly in the hospital and had 12 surgeries in 11 years. She came to us very damaged. She was a tough one, and still is at times, but she is also the one who is most like me. I think that is why we butt heads so much. We have some terrible times but we also have good ones. To know her at 11 and to see her now, you wouldn't recognize her. She could barely read, tell time, or do math and she had some strange behaviors. Couldn't figure out much of anything. Now, most people want to know if she is disabled at all. She has come a long way.

The last one came to us through a phone call. My marriage was awful, I was in nursing school and I was 40. She was from India, born here, and was one month old. My twins who were 15 at the time, told me I must adopt her, so we did. She was a tough one to love. She had autistic issues along with the Down Syndrome and needed more help in most areas. Now, she has me heart and soul. I love this little lady so much, it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. She can drive me nuts but what child can't.

So this is how I got here. This is my life. This is who I am. A mom to 4 grown boys, and a mom, caregiver, helper, chauffeur , event planner and basically a life planner for 4 wonderful ladies. They keep me on my toes but they also take very good care of me. I can't change my life and I don't want to. Sometimes I yell that I need a break or a vacation. One of them will say, from us. I say yes, all of you. But then I think how boring life is without them.

This is me. This is my life.