My story begins as a little girl, found in La ceiba Honduras. Found at the age of about 2 months old. By a nurse who took a path, to the doctor’s clinic every day. The doctor did an exam on me, and said I was very healthy for my young age. My country is mostly poor, and the climate is super-hot and A lot of areas aren’t safe. The nurse than took me, to the S.O.S. Orphanage in la Ceiba. Not a note to be found, of who I really was. At that time, Alma and Gustavo ran the orphanage. It was a very well kept up orphanage. Than most other orphanages. My 4 years in the Orphanage, I was taken care by my different house mothers. Because once they reached the age of 17, they had to leave. And have their own life. Because of Gods loving protection and purpose for me. He sent missionaries to impact my life. The Hendrickson’s. They were sponsoring me are the time and would visit on occasion. Bringing supplies that I needed Since the Orphanage was limited. Gustavo asked them if they wanted to adopt me. To give me a good life and family in the states. The Hendrickson’s, replied that they would like to help. But their kids have had already grown up and left home. They were too old to start over. But they knew of an American family through church, who wanted to adopt a little girl. They were able to reach my American mother. She flew down to see me. Apparently, she thought I was too old for what she had hoped for. She wanted to adopt a younger child. After visiting she left, and went back home. At that time, I was about 3. A year later, the Orphanage asked her again, if she wanted to adopt me. God came through for me again. She agreed to take me into her family. But the process was a little tricky, since I didn’t know who I really was. Alma and Gustavo gave me their last name to allow me to enter the states. Thinking once I was adopted by my American family it would be safe that they gave me their last name on my visitor’s visa. By law and in order to be adopted out, I had to come back to Honduras. The visitor’s visa allowed me to fly to Buffalo NY and meet the rest of my family at the airport. My parents needed time to gather information and money in order to adopt me out. When they were both ready, to fly back to Honduras. They were informed by their lawyers, that Honduras was not adopting out at that time. They have strict laws and regulations, to allow people to leave the country. After some planning, they were able to switch me on a school visa. As long as I was in that district and didn’t leave I was safe to stay. I graduated from Maple Grove Sir High School in Bemus point NY. My mom and I were planning on me, continuing my degree as a STNA at JCC Community College.
During my 11th and 12th grade of high school I took a STNA course. Because I had a passion to help the Elderly and special needs children. To my dismay, my paperwork wasn’t processed correctly. My principal wrote as an agreement to allow me to stay in his school until I graduated. He according to my parents, wrote 6th grade as an error. That threw me and my parents through a big mess. After talking to a few lawyers, they finally found one who studied in immigration law. There was an option to do an adult option. Since I was of legal age, I had the say if I wanted to be adopted by the McCullough’s. Everything as my parents has planned fell through. Apparently, the lawyer wanted more money than my parents agreed to.
This is where my life began to unfold. I was left to fend by myself. Even though I came here legally, graduated from high school there was no hope for me. Luckily, I was given a social security number to allow me to enter the country and go to school. But my social security number doesn’t allow me to work legally in this country. However, with my 1-94 and passport I was able to find work through my life. Since I am still a Honduran citizen and didn’t have my updated status, I am not allowed to drive or get any kind of assistance through the government. God gave me a survivor’s soul. Work wasn’t hard to find, most of the time it was getting there or some places didn’t except my passport because it was so old and hand written back in the 80s. Through my struggles and my will, I never gave up hope. When President Obama passes the law, for doca. Any immigrant that came here legally and was expired and could prove they came here since 2007. And never left the country could be granted a work permit. Which had to be updated in so many years at a time. In 2014 I applied for this process. I had to go through the immigration issued government background check. Including finger prints. This was an extensive process. Which to 8 months to complete. I had to go to Washington DC to get a new passport. And through my Embassy of Honduras in Washington my naturalization paper was updated. It’s like a birth certificate of people who don’t have a real one. That too allowed me to get into this country. Immigration wanted proof that I never left the country and asked for job stubs, address of where I lived. It was a crucial process. I had to make a copy of every page of my old and new passport. My school records. Anything proving how long I lived here for.
My information was passed from one person to another. To make sure I had everything I needed. I signed up to meet with an immigration officer, to help me through this process. They would give me updates on my case. Once it was at the final stage, that officer had the power to decline or accept my case. It was declined because I didn’t have enough address or information proving I didn’t leave the country. Even though I had letters from friends and all my pages on my passport were copied. It wasn’t enough. Immigration is very strict. There is so many regulations and rules you have to follow and go through. Every case different than someone else’s.
I know there is a greater purpose for my journey. I have taken the regulations to become legal. I have survived because I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I have talked to the embassy in Honduras. The American one. Each country has an embassy. They informed me that I could try and pay for a new visa. One that applies to me. If the paperwork was accepted I would have to go back to Honduras and be interviewed. I don’t know how long it would take. And even though I asked my mom for help. There is a big chance that I would have to wait to get back into this country. My home. There are so many other immigrants trying to leave Honduras that it could be a long time before it was my turn. I have no family or friends in Honduras. I do not speak the language. But I was willing to take that chance. Because I am doing everything in my power to give myself a fighting chance to be allowed to have the same rights as everyone else in this country. I’m not a quitter. I do not depend on someone to help me become legal. I have tried all the ways to better my life. Marriage to me is soul bond between two people. Not a paper to fix problems. I look to God every day for guidance. He has a reason for this. I trust him. I know he will find a way for me. He has blessed me with a beautiful life. To appreciate his blessings even more. To keep going and working hard for me. He has brought wonderful and compassionate people throughout my life. I have my own will to survive and work. God has given me opportunities to find jobs. Sometimes life would get shaky and I was placed somewhere else in my path. It all leads to a greater purpose. Greater than myself. One day I would love to inspire others. To let them know, that no matter the storms we may face today, tomorrow is a new day. To be strong within yourself. All the pain and tears, and even the moments of clarity. It’s all worth the fight. Believe in yourself. This is all for a reason. I have faith. I know one day I will be allowed to be free and viewed as an equal. Where there is a will there is a way. A new law might be passed. Who knows. I have come too far in my life to quit. For now, I will work and do the best that I can for my growth. to help those in need. To keep making a positive change in my life and those who surround it.