Yahira: an unlikely connection I hope I never lose

Originally posted November 29,2012

Yahira (left) during her beauty training class with Nancy (right)

Yahira (left) during her beauty training class with Nancy (right)

Among our team we all have kids we connect with more than others, ones who connect with us more than other team members. For Amber and I two of those are best friends who have been with us for over a year now – Miguel and my child, Yahira.

I have looked at last year’s blogs the past few days. Some make me laugh to see how kids and adults have changed. Some hurt to look at to see faces who have chosen a life on the street. Some I can’t bare to look at all to see my Ochoa kids or those faces we lost to tragedy.

But some bring me joy that helps me through all the pain. Those make me beam with pride to think we’re maybe doing something right.

When I look at Yahira’s blog I can’t help but feel amazed at what she’s come through and how she’s filled my heart with such pride. This teenager became my child. She calls me mom, and I call her daughter. Everyone jokes and calls her one-year-old son, Angel, my grandson. Yes, I realize how strange that sounds being that I’m 24, but I love them dearly.

This year Yahira unfortunately developed an addiction to drugs. I have seen her change from a quiet, innocent girl to one with addictions who we have struggled to trust at times. But I have watched as our love and connection have motivated her to stop using hard drugs and drastically decrease her marijuana use. She still struggles. That’s the nature of addiction. But she fights through it for her son, for us and for herself.

Yahira knows without a doubt we love her. And I know with that God has done something incredible. She has come out of her shell and into a person who cares deeply. I could not have handled the last few months of our Ochoa kids’ struggles without my Yahira.

When we talked about what we’re grateful for a few weeks ago, she said, “That I have changed a little.” I pray we can make her see she has changed a lot, for the better. Please help us celebrate her heart and give her a wonderful Christmas.