Tuesday, November 8, was Marcos’s birthday.
I had planned to write a blog about him and his life and what he means to me.
And then something crazy happened.
I think you all know where I’m going with this…the election. The craziest election I can remember in the longest time. Maybe ever.
A reality TV star and a woman, both running for president.
I knew someday this would happen, but I didn’t think they would happen at the same time.
And as I watched the election results, the blog began to change in my mind. I sat in disbelief late into the night watching Donald Trump’s numbers rise and rise and rise and eventually win the election. This blog was still most definitely going to be about Marcos, but with a twist. I know, I know, it doesn’t make much sense. What does this election have to do with Marcos’s Birthday? I promise you, it will all make sense. His birthday and this election have EVERYTHING to do with each other and are tied in ways we never could have seen coming.
If you had told me 20 years ago that a reality star/pop culture famous-never-been-in-politics-guy would become president, I would’ve said, “no way!!!” Though I’ve said for years, it would be great to have a non-politician, business-type as president to run this country more like a business, I certainly didn’t mean Mr.Trump. I’ll admit, embarrassingly enough, I watched the first season of The Apprentice and was entertained by it, but not enough to ever watch another season.
When I was younger, I remember the question being asked, “what will we have first, a woman president or a black president?” Hands-down I voted for woman because I felt that there were still too many closed-minded racists in this country that would never vote for a black man sheerly because of his race.
I was clearly wrong on every level.
I know it’s been 3 weeks.
But I had to process. I had to come to grips. I had to try and wrap my mind around the reality we are about enter into.
I had to find a way to put into words everything my heart was feeling.
Politics has never interested me much until we moved to a small town in Humboldt County and we both began working jobs and serving our community in a capacity that opened our eyes to the importance of local politics and being involved in change. Politics became VERY important to us as we saw loopholes that began to free people to continue evil acts; and loopholes that kept hurting people who were desperate for change, slaves to the system.
This year for the first time we sat with our oldest daughter and watched the news on many different channels, we watched the debates, we researched, we read everything we could to make an informed decision.
And it was not easy.
I walked into the voting booth on November 8 not knowing who I would bubble in for president. It was a last minute decision I made.
I filled out the rest of my ballot and then came back to the presidential candidates and stared at them forever.
And with a lump in my throat I filled one in.
It doesn’t matter now WHO I voted for, but it wasn’t Trump.
I couldn’t pull the trigger on a man who seemed so racist and temperamental.
I couldn’t vote for a man who wants to deport so many innocent people trying to make a better life for themselves and children.
Now, hear my heart-if there is someone here illegally NOT trying to become a citizen, and they’re a criminal-absolutely, I have a problem with my tax dollars paying for them to be in prison, and there should be avenues to remedy that situation.
BUT was this entire country not founded by immigrants? Don’t most of us have a family history of immigration? My dad’s family came here 3 generations ago to better the lives of their families. And I’m so thankful they were able to do so.
What would this world look like if we closed our borders to the broken and hurting?
On Wednesday, November 9, I text Marcos this:
“I’ve been so close…like SOOOOOO close to shutting people down today…like we really think trump is a good idea? Really?!? Thank God-and I mean this from the depths of my soul-thank GOD you were born in California or I would be in absolute terror right now that you would be taken from me. And NO ONE should ever have to feel that way and my heart is breaking for people that are facing that…And to listen to people talk, it’s not even a thought. Maybe because they’ve been so sheltered? I can’t let myself think that people who have any experience with anyone NOT White would be ok with this.”
And I know I’ve already upset someone.
But this election is real and really personal for myself and many people I know.
I wasn’t raised around many white people, though I’m white.
I was raised in and went to schools from the time I was in junior high where the majority of students were “minorities” of many different races. We were one of MAYBE 2 or 3 “white” families in our churches and neighborhoods.
I never thought much about it.
Why should I? It didn’t make a difference to me who my friends were. I just loved them and they loved me and welcomed me into their families with open arms of acceptance. I loved the exposure to other cultures and foods and traditions.
My parents taught me that color was never, ever a factor in life. We are all human. We are all sinners who need a savior. End of story.
I shared on my blog here earlier this year, the ways I’ve seen racism in action since I’ve married Marcos. And even then, it’s so limited because we live in such a liberal state. The majority of people we’re exposed to on a daily basis don’t have issues with race and interracial relationships.
So this election season was rough on me.
I saw and heard things that saddened me.
On the news, online, social media…the ignorance we were being exposed to was astounding. People speaking in generalities using such hateful speech. I heard more racial slurs than I thought possible – on BOTH sides – There was chauvinistic speech, pointing fingers, blame game, inability to REALLY talk and see from any other viewpoint and an unwillingness to listen with an open heart and mind.
My children started asking tough questions and we were forced to have many uncomfortable conversations.
I found myself becoming angry and sad and upset.
I stood to the side of many conversations thinking, “if only you knew how I really felt, you would shut your mouth.”
I fully believe people became so blinded by anger and hurt they started to say and do things out of character and our brains just fully stopped working.
People who KNOW my husband is not white and that we have 2 mixed sons, said the most hurtful things in front of me about immigration, stop and frisk, and Trump’s plan for “law and order.” And every mother I know with sons who aren’t white are terrified at the thought. I have a son who drives and I can’t even LET myself think about him out driving at night or getting pulled over and what could happen. He may not be black, but he certainly isn’t white and as a white woman, I understand and know that white privilege absolutely does exist and so does racism. Sadly, I know that more than ever after this past year.
After I text Marcos that day, he told me how he shared his story with an intern at the center who was saddened and heartbroken by the political climate of our nation the day after the election. He sent me his response to her and it was so beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.
I’ve never shared Marcos’s story on here.
It’s deeply personal to him, and he doesn’t tell many people and it wasn’t my story to tell, but that day he gave me permission to share.
It is not pretty.
It is graphic.
And it’s a perfect picture of God making something beautiful out of something evil.
It’s a story of hope.
It’s a story of a destiny that could not be stopped.
It’s the reason I so passionately advocate for immigrants, that they be allowed to stay and make a better life & future for themselves and their families.
These were his words:
I woke up this morning still in shock about last nights turnout. I can’t believe how foolish I was to think that America would NEVER vote for such an inexperienced, sexist, bigot!!! How naive I was to think it would’ve been decided early.
If Trump was President 37 years ago then I don’t think I would be here. I’m not saying that to sound dramatic but I honestly think there’s a good chance I would NOT be here!!!
I don’t normally share this with anyone but I think it helps put things into perspective of our potential future and the lives that can be affected with Trump as President.
I was adopted as a baby. My biological mother worked for a wealthy guy in Mexico that owned a ranch. He forced himself on my mother, raped her and I was conceived…Her dad approached the wealthy man and he bought his silence and was trying to persuade my mom to have an abortion to keep his reputation in tact. She instead decided to flee Mexico and try and make it to the States to offer me up for adoption once I was born in hopes of giving me a better life….Long story short, she made it across the border and found some missionaries that helped her get to the Bay Area where I was born and immediately placed into foster care while awaiting adoption.
I was given a second chance at life and was given the opportunity to fulfill the “American dream”. If Trump were President at the time, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have met my beautiful wife and I wouldn’t have any of my awesome children.
My prayers will be for those genuinely fleeing their Country for hopes of a better future for them and their families that they will still get the opportunity they deserve.
This is just one of my MANY issues with Trump but I know God is in control and He and He alone can make America great again, not Trump.
My life has been made so much better because of Marcos. No one could have seen 37 years ago that that story would turn into a story of grace and love and hope.
Marcos was placed with his parents when he was 1 week old. There was another couple who had more money, more affluence in the community and on paper, most judges would’ve placed him there. Both families desperately wanted a baby.
But by God’s grace, the judge chose my in-laws because my mother-in-law was choosing to be a stay at home mom.
It was no accident.
God had a purpose and a destiny for Marcos’s life.
He was made to be a daddy to my 4 babies. He was made to be my best friend, encourager, leader & husband.
He was made to live out the gospel with a passion for the unloved, unwanted and forgotten and make them feel loved, wanted and known.
I don’t know where his birth mother is today, but I know she would be proud and would have no reason to ever regret choosing life and illegally coming to the United States to give Marcos a better life.
I know that I, my parents, his parents, our siblings and our kids thank God everyday for the life he was given and the opportunities he’s had as an American citizen and a follower of Christ.
Looking back over his life and knowing that every step was ordered by the Lord and gifted to him so that he could be the man he is today leaves me in awe.
So, when I hear people talk about other races and people who came to this country by any means necessary to have a chance at a life like my husbands, I’m all for it!
When I hear people speak passionately about fighting for equality for every single person, I applaud it.
Our country is in a weird place.
People are in a weird place.
But I have hope.
I have hope for unity.
I have hope for the church to rise up in love and be the leading voice for change and love and equality.
I have hope for our future, because it’s not in Trump’s hands. It’s not in our governments hands. It’s in God’s hands and we already have the victory in Him.
So, in a world where a reality star is president and I can’t understand what’s happening…baby, I’m so glad you were born and people like you give me hope and bring light into my life!