When my second daughter was born with Down syndrome, she challenged what I viewed as perfect, worthy, important, and valuable in life. I had received her as a broken baby, only to quickly recognize that I was the broken one. The treasures I have discovered along the way are not found in strength, performance, eloquence, character or confidence. They are found in brokenness, where beauty is found unexpectedly as a result of God’s love and compassion transforming my life.

I am a writer and speaker, and in this blog I write about finding beauty in brokenness with gritty honesty and openness. I tackle issues about faith, parenting, special needs, adoption, and confessions related to these topics. What you find here is sometimes raw. But it’s real, because life is messy, and broken, and beautiful.

On the other hand, I dream of writing fiction and winning a Newberry medal. Hey, we all have dreams.

Andy and EllenBesides being a writer, my most important roles are within my family. My husband, Andy, really is my better half and I don’t mind admitting to it. He’s a real man of integrity. I respect and admire him greatly as he works with people and difficult situations, I wish I was more like him.  He’s a pastor, so I guess that makes me the pastor’s wife, but please know that I am a broken person with much need of grace. I don’t play the piano, and I can’t sing (I wish I could). Instead, I teach Zumba.

We have 3 girls. Ellie, our oldest, is a talented little artist and one of the most accepting and compassionate  human beings I know. Nichole is our youngest, she has Down syndrome, and she is a rascal. Then there is Nina, our middle child, who joined our family through international adoption; she has cerebral palsy and severe trauma. I never thought I would end up being the mom of a child with a disability, let alone two of them! Nevertheless, now disability defines our family and our church. Most days I love it!Family photo

You want to know one of the biggest passions that developed out of the children I have? To see the church embrace people with disabilities. Not out of pity or out of service, but out of a genuine understanding, acceptance, and celebration of their life. My oldest daughter says the passion I have towards this effort is my, “job from God,” I believe that too.

A few months ago I founded Disability Matters, an organization that seeks to encourage every church to embrace disability.

As a speaker, I address topics of faith, disability, and adoption. I also help churches figure out steps they can take to become more disability friendly. I really do love my job!

I am a Latin girl, born and raised in Mexico City. I moved to the United States when I was 17 years old, and thankfully I was already bilingual. English has become my first language. I don’t think I have an accent, but there are some words that give me trouble, because of the many vowel sounds and combinations in the English language. On the other hand, I can roll my Rs like a champion, can you?

Now that you are here, I would LOVE to connect with you.

Cover Special Needs Parent Survival GuideJust for you, I created a simple guide with 13 practical ways to help you find peace in the midst of chaos, It’s the Special Needs parent Survival Guide, and all you have to do is opt in to receive it.

I’m so glad you’re here!