our stories matter



Please share your story:

Every day is touched by the name Haven Song. In February 2018 my husband and I sat in the midwife’s office, newly pregnant and hoping for our first ultrasound glimpse of our baby. Instead of a huge smile and reassurance, the midwife scheduled a consult with an OB Dr explaining that my fibroids were a concern and that she may not be able to oversee my pregnancy. We went home like we’d been kicked in the stomach. I tried to be positive because the midwife had not said my baby would not survive—only that preterm delivery was possible and we needed to be aware of this fact. My husband Luis was just quiet. He didn’t know what to say. I sat in front of the TV at home thinking about our baby and being alone with my grief while Luis made supper. We hadn’t even picked a name yet. We didn’t even know our baby’s gender. Then the word “Haven” entered my consciousness. I began to think of Haven as a name choice. What would it be like to have a name that meant “refuge?” Refuge from the storm. Refuge from pain. Refuge from sickness and the curse of sin. Then I remembered Psalm 91 and all the ways God promises to protect his children. I knew our baby’s name was Haven Song and that in naming her God was choosing her. When I asked Luis what he thought of the name Haven he agreed! (Up till then we were unable to agree on a name.) In faith we named our baby Haven and if our baby was a girl we would name her Haven Song to remind us of God’s faithful protection. Each day we thanked God for another day Haven lived. Each week we counted towards a full term delivery. Each month we looked back in amazement that my pregnancy was protected and uneventful. At the same time I had to prepare for worst. I looked into baby funeral services and how to ensure my baby would be given to me by the hospital no matter how premature she may have been. Luis and I had to talk together about my wishes if the Dr’s worst case scenarios played out for me. If I began hemorrhaging or if I needed an emergency C-section or hysterectomy. If there were ever a decision that needed to be made who would live, I wanted Luis to make the Dr’s choose Haven. That was a tough conversation. In the end, I carried Haven Song to 39 weeks when the Dr suggested an induction. There were none of the expected complications! I did experience a third degree tear and postpartum depression, but none of the worst case scenarios took place. Haven is healthy and growing. She exceeds our expectations.

How has your story shaped who you are today?:

Every day when I say my daughter’s name I am reminded of my God. Our Father God who protects and loves his children. Who loves and forgives. Who sings over us Heaven’s song of redemption. Who is our refuge (our haven) in every trial —in the bad times and the good.


What compelled you to want to share your story with us?:

My life experiences have not been easy. My own birth family is dysfunctional and my father is in prison waiting trial. I have prayed for deliverance and healing for my family for a decade now and am still waiting for God’s full restorative healing to occur. When the Dr. gave us the worst case scenarios I immediately thought the worst would happen to me like so many other times to my family. I am learning to choose belief in my heavenly father’s love no matter what is happening. If my daughter had not lived, the promise that God is my Haven would still be true. I hope to encourage others to keep hoping while walking through the darkness of needing to understand funeral preparations for a beloved baby.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Don’t give up. Our father God is big enough for your screaming tears. He is big enough to hold you through your upcoming deliverance or even if there are more tears ahead. He will send you every help that you need.


Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

Photo: Authentic Adventure Co.

What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being Latina to me, means being loud, strong and humble all in one. It means representing a culture that is so vibrant and rich in history yet lacking in representation in the US.

Share a struggle you have faced being a Latina.:

Being a LATINA in a male dominated industry has it challenges. I have to work twice as hard as my male counterparts. If I have a strong opinion I am just being bitchy. It often means being pitted against other females because I believe that is how men believe we operate. I walked into a meeting once with my boss very early on in my career and an executive of the organization we were meeting with said, "Oh I didn't know we could bring dates." I was infuriated and enraged but had to smile and move on, as it was a very high profile client. Sometimes it means having to think about trivial things more then most for example, if I wear hoop earrings to work will I look too ethnic or unprofessional. I write this as my white female colleague is wearing large hoop earrings and was complemented. However, when I wore them, I was told, “Hey you remind me of that ‘Around the Way Girl,’ music video by LL cool J. (true story).

Share something you love about being a Latina?:

I love our stereotypes! Don't make a Latina mad. I love being viewed as feisty.

What do you identify as?: Proud Guatemalan!!!

Where you born in the states? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc. (Share only what you are comfortable with):

I was born in Guatemala and came here at a young age. We came as residents which is why my dad decided we would just live here permanently. We applied for visas to come visit my grandmother who had moved here and we received green cards instead. (it was the 80's so I know that would never happen now) I still have not become a US citizen because Guatemala does not have dual citizenship. I have a certain emotion but will ultimately become a citizen as I have lived here over 30yrs now.

How have you been able to celebrate and honor your american nationality, while embracing your heritage and culture?:

I think I have developed American traditions with my own family while staying true to who I am.

My family is a melting pot so we have merged everything. My husband is half Japanese Half Scottish, my son is Mexican, Guatemalan and a quarter German. So we take a little from here and a little from there. My step son speaks Japanese and My son speaks Spanish.

Do you speak spanish?: Yes, fluently.

Have you experienced colorism, or not being fully accepted by your community? Like you're too dark, or too white, etc. Please share anything you'd like to share!:

I don't know that I feel I have experienced colorism as I am tan skinned so I probably fall right in the middle. I have experienced my family back home saying that my accent is different and I seem more American. lol

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

I love anything and everything that highlights Latinos!