On May 3rd, our very unique child at RISE turned 19. Her name is MariCruz. Possibly when you personally visited the Refugio you were greeted by this very vivacious girl and wondered about her sometimes “bizarre” behavior. And many of you may have memories of your own regarding her – one of mine is when she decided to stuff her bra with a ½ kilo of warm, fresh tortillas – an event that did not make the Madres happy needless to say.
Several days before MariCruz’s birthday, Chris Amo told her if she was “good” we would take her to McDonald’s for lunch. Every day we were greeted with the same questions, but FINALLY her day arrived and off we went. The drive was a good time for us to “confirm” what she would be eating – but it was not the food, but the Estrella watch that came with her happy meal that delighted her the most. While at McDonald’s she truly enjoyed greeting all with “Today is May 3rd and it is my birthday and I am 19. What is your name?” The kindness shown to us and HER by the staff and other patrons was greatly appreciated.
MariCruz loves to sing and dance and is very talented at both – her favorite songs are those from the holiday season, which keep all in a “festive” mood regardless what month it is. Although many attempts have been made to provide her with an education, the schools available are just not equipped to deal with her special needs. She does not read or write and does not have the attention span to be of much help at RISE.
All of those dedicated to RISE and its children are concerned about her future. But the final decision will not be ours, but DIF’s. I asked about the facilities available in Mexico to care for a person of her age. Unlike the US or Canada, there is only one institution and that one is similar to what ours were in the 1950’s.
I am also not sure if a label has ever been put on her medical condition that has so profoundly affected the quality of her life. Regardless, our hopes are that with proper medication and a whole lot of patience she will be able to stay with her family at RISE until other options become available.
If you are not supporting a child in our 10 x 10 program, please consider MariCruz. We will never give up on our “forever child” – but this is possible only through your continued support of our efforts.