The first time Raquel met her second parents, they ushered her into their rented apartment and showed her a variety of items symbolizing her new life. Raquel proceeding to express her interest in this new life by throwing each of the articles of clothing into a heaping pile at the feet of her excited audience, at which point she began stomping up and down on top of those supposed symbols. In case she hadn’t yet gotten her point across, Raquel then showed off a vast vocabulary of swear words and obscene gestures to her new family.
“She’s a fiery one,” the orphan care workers had explained.
“That’s one way to put it,” her adopting mother thought, as she pondered the road in front of her.
By age six, Raquel had been neglected, abused, broken, and thrown away by a family who didn’t know how to do otherwise. Born as a consequence of prostitution, she never knew what it even meant to have an earthly father. Sent to the streets to sell tortillas before some kids leave the crib, she never knew the safety or security of home. Stabbed and left for dead by her first mother, under the watchful eye of a grandmother, she never knew the unconditional love of family.