Soften my heart

O Great One

Soften my heart
When I find myself in distress
Witnessing others' injustice
As it destroys families' spirits
Bring peace to Jersey City Police Detective Marc DiNardo's wife & children

Soften my heart
When I find Impatience
Waiting for tomorrow
And Today feels like it fails me
Bring loving faith to the process

Soften my heart
When the day to day
Seeming exhausting
Is actually a God-send to
Slow down . . . think nothing . . .

And soften my heart

[ * RIP JC Police Detective Marc DiNardo, 07.21.09 . . .
killed in the line of duty ]


May goodness & mercy follow you . . .

An old JC mate of mine unexpectedly passed away from a cardiac arrest-related incident last week. He was the younger brother of J. with whom I used to hang in my coming of age years. A mix of Prep & Hudson boys and ASA & St. Dom's girls. While I wasn't the one all the boys wanted to date, I did enjoy a great circle of friends. Such fond memories of high school and being young & Filipino American in Jersey City. Of course, I didn't think of myself as FilAm then. But looking back with FilAm affinity isn't such a bad thing, is it?

As I entered what I anticipated would be a most chaotic mob scene of a wake, I was simply grateful to be there to offer my condolences, especially to J. . . . knowing how much such a gesture meant to me when Dad passed almost a year ago. I am heartened by the sad news of LD's death & am reminded of A.'s own heart journey & his courage to live . . . & transform his daily life into a more healthy & heart-friendly one. Please take care of your hearts, folks.

LD -- As you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, may the Spirit be there to comfort you & my Dad be there to greet you along with your other loved ones who have passed into peaceful stillness. There's gotta be a Jersey City poker club up there, yes? Love & light to The Ramos Family.

LOUIE DANIEL RAMOS - JERSEY CITY - Louie Daniel Ramos, R.N., 35, passed away suddenly on Thursday, July 16, 2009, at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, New Brunswick. Born in Jersey City, Louie was a graduate of St. Peter's Prep and Rutgers University, where he received a B.A. in Biology. A recent graduate (Summa Cum Laude) of Christ Hospital School of Nursing, he was recently conferred as a R.N. Louie was an avid poker player and he also played volleyball in the local league. He is survived by his parents, Jose and Rebecca (Mallare) Ramos; a brother, Joseph A. and his wife, Liza; a niece, Jolisa; a nephew, Austin; his maternal grandmother, Isabel Mallare; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. The family will receive friends on Monday and Tuesday, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Aedan's R. C. Church on Wednesday, at 10:00 a.m. Entombment to follow at Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Aedan's Church would be appreciated. Parking opposite of the funeral home. McLaughlin Funeral Home 625 Pavonia Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306 (201) 798-8700.

Almost your one-year death anniversary, Dad . . .

CABALDA, AMANTE B., 69, of Jersey City, entered eternal rest 8/30/08, peacefully at home. Beloved husband of Rizalina (nee Cadelina). Devoted father of Michael Cabalda, Sheila Cabalda and her husband Alexander Torres, Dear brother of Constante Cabalda and Oliva Corrales. Dear brother-in-law of Aurea and her husband Regino Elgarico. Dear uncle of Kathleen and her husband Thomas McElroy and Mitch Elgarico. There will be a Memorial Mass at O.L. of Mercy R.C. Church, 40 Sullivan Drive, Jersey City, Sat., 9/6/08.


This bud in my heart

"Miraculously my own, never forget for a single minute, you weren't born under my heart, you were born in it." ~Anonymous

It feels real
this bud in my heart
It grows --
implanted itself long ago
this bud in my heart

I see you
in many images --
Holt International
Pearl S. Buck Foundation
Wide Horizons for Children
Dave Thomas Foundation
Adopt U.S. Kids

is our theme song
You are our real


for gabi

gabi's christening
an honorable moment
all its own
in this little one's life
where i am

your delightful smile
& glow in your eyes
feed my heart's patient bud
as i wait
for my little one

bless you, gabi,
my sixth godchild.
& thank you.



However parenthood comes to us, it will be a miracle. As A. & I grow closer to beginning the adoption process and trying to make a firm decision on which agency to go with, I am heartened by my own emotional day-to-day reactions to the little ones I come across.

For example, I had to do a site visit up in the Bronx to an Early Head Start center sponsored by ESS (the non-profit for which I work). My heart melted as I entered the infant & toddler classrooms where young, delightful, round & brown faces greeted me -- all wide-eyed & just simply happy. Some sat in these tiny chairs in a reading session, while others played or looked curious. I wanted so much to take a couple of them home with me! Their very presence and my reaction reassured me how 'parentable' A. & I are.

As I continue to research both international & domestic adoption, I find myself doing searches for different kinds of 'adoptable' kids. It's heart-wrenching to read descriptions of especially older kids who struggle to be 'adoptable.' Sadly, their emotional/physical/ mental/medical challenges make them not-so-adoptable. And at the same time, I get anxious about whether or not A. & I are 'parentable.' In addition to being financially secure enough, will our profile as a couple be 'parentable' enough? But if recent immigrant parents living borderline poverty in the Bronx can do it, surely we can. Parentable enough? Not to mention all of the paperwork and assurances that we're asked to provide. Like signing off on a statement that confirms we don't support corporal punishment to detailing our primary and alternative childcare plans. I'm pretty sure they don't ask biological parents to jump through as many hoops, but they're 'parentable' from the momentous "We're pregnant" get-go!

It's been a long while that we've seriously considered adoption (even while A. & I were dating, I made sure to discuss my affection for including adoption in our family life), not completely giving up all hope to have biological children of our own, but also accepting the reality of our doctors' opinions, our age, our physical status & our definitive choice to not explore further medical opportunities . . . as well as all that has happened in our lives since we've been together, including open heart surgery at 38, cancer & death. Given all those experiences and how we've courageously broken through them, I am confident that A. & I are parentable.