Friday, April 26, 2013


Hi blogsphere! 

I've been so busy with my internship that I've forgotten to write about it! 

Wait.... internship!?!?!


I'm a paralegal intern at Metro Volunteer Lawyers and it's going well! I do a lot of filing papers with the courts and that entails making copies for clients' folders and making sure all the required documents are in the packet. Then I mail it off. We don't use E-file. I don't know why, but we don't. 

I also have  had a few opportunities to help clients with paperwork. This is easier than straight interviewing for my Aspie brain because our focus is the paperwork. However, I find making small talk while still focusing on the task at hand helps the clients. 

Last week, I helped a volunteer attorney prepare her client for court. It sounds more dramatic than it really was. I took notes as they talked and wrote a little outline for the client to reference when she testified. I also looked up a few statutes in a book. Yup. I rocked it old-school since we didn't have access to the Westlaw database. Anyway, the attorney let me sit with her and the client when we went into the court room. The attorney questioned the client in front of the judge, and I was glad I was the paralegal intern and not the one on the stand. Nice to know that I don't want to go to law-school :) The client thanked us profusely for our help, and that made me smile. Knowing that we helped her move forward in her divorce case made me realize that I like family law and I like working in the legal field to make a real difference in people's lives. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blood for a terrorism defendant

Today the news reported more about the Boston Marathon terrorism suspect who was injured in the standoff with police. The news reported that he was in the hospital and had sustained heavy blood loss. My first thought was, "Oh man, how would I like it if I donated blood and then it went to that guy??" Especially, if I was one of the people that donated blood in hopes it would help some of the injured in the bomb blast? The implication of my thought was this: A terrorism suspect is less worthy of a blood transfusion than one of the injured from the attack. 

An anchor on Fox News was also surprised that the suspect was read his Miranda Rights. My paralegal student side thought, "Yes, but that's a routine procedure in criminal law." Procedural Due-Proccess. He has a right to due process of law under the sixth-amendment of our Constitution. 

Then God brought my mind back to the idea that he received someone else's donated blood. This blood donor gave at a facility like Bonfil's Blood Center or the hospital in-house blood donation center. The donor would never have knowledge about what patient received the blood. It could have gone to a mother in the delivery unit, a cancer patient, a car-accident victim, or the criminal defendant who is currently being treated. Society sees each of these people a different way, and that affects how 'worthy' they are of fair treatment. 

How dare a defendant suspected of terrorism get read his Miranda rights! How dare the doctors keep him comfortable unless all they are doing it for is to ensure he is healthy enough for interrogation! 

Yet, God reminded me of this fact: Christ is the blood donor for all of us.  He gave His blood on the Cross to atone for my sins of lying, selfishness, blasphemy of God, etc. He gave His blood on the cross for the embezzlers, the DUI offenders, those convicted of misdemeanors  the drivers who flip off the RTD bus drivers, and the terrorists. He gave His blood for all. For both the victims of the Boston bombing and the perpetrators. Only in Christ's blood are we all washed clean of sin. 


And Mind. Blown. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The God Above Kidney Stones and Bombings

Today Mom woke me up groaning about being in pain and other symptoms. She didn't know what to do, so I called Denver Health nurse-line so we could have advice on her symptoms. The nurse recommended that Mom go to urgent care. I called my aunt and when I did not get a hold of her, I called our neighbor Nancy who would be able to take Mom to urgent care. Finally, I called my Boaz to ask him to pray for us. That was all before 8 am this morning. 

Mom's urgent care appointment went better than I thought. I think since Nancy was there, I was able to stay calmer. I did keep asking the receptionist how long Mom would have to wait since she was in a lot of pain. A nurse came out right as Mom was filling out her paperwork. Nancy and I went to breakfast after Mom went back to the exam area. 

Her appointment lasted a few hours with Nancy and I dropping by to check on her and then spending some time at Starbucks getting stuff done on our computers. Turns out Mom has a kidney stone :( It could have been a lot worse. 

I was happy Mom was able to go home and drink plenty of fluids. However, I was tired and still 'emotionally drained' and feeling sad from having to be so worried about her earlier. As I was on the bus, Mom called and told me what she heard on the news: 

There was a bombing during the Boston Marathon where at least 20 people were hurt. 
Winner from a past year


Wait - what? 

I got to campus and a student was looking at the news on his tablet. He showed me and I read the article. I read up on it on my computer and then did some work. 

I felt the same sadness I felt during the Aurora shooting and during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

Why was this area chosen as the crime scene? 
How horrible is it that an athlete finishes a race only to be injured by a bomb. 
What does this mean for national security? 
This could have been in Colorado where I have friends who run in these type of events. 

I listened to some Chris Tomlin "See the Morning" CD as I did some school work. Then I realized: The answer to both these things is Christ. 

God is sovereign and was Mom and my comfort when Mom had her kidney stone. God was kind to us to have my neighbor able to drive so Mom didn't have to call an ambulance. 

So where was God's kindness in the bombing in Boston today? Well, many of the other bombs did not go off. A medical tent (for the runners to ice sore muscles and sprained ankles) was close by so  the medics were able to treat the injured quickly. Police and firefighters were probably near by just as policy for a large crowd event, so they were able to help. I think Boston has more than one medical school so the injured could be transported to hospitals reasonably close by. 

But what if Mom had to have emergency surgery? What if all the bombs went off and killed 2000 people instead of 2? Where would God's kindness be? 

His kindness is that while we were still sinners He died for us. He took the wrongs of the world - from the grumbling about the slow passenger getting on the bus to bombing innocent people - onto Himself on the Cross. He took disease and death - from the common cold to cancer and ALS - onto the Cross too. 

He defeated sin, anger, war, terrorism, death, and disease when He rose from the dead. That is His kindness. That is why I can have peace in God through the small situations and the big. That is why when I cry over the small situations and the major  current events, I can receive comfort from God. He has felt this pain and then He has overcome. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A perfect piece in His hand

"On a nationwide level, the Puzzle Piece symbol reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also, since every puzzle piece is different in some way, a puzzle piece accurately represents the diversity of the individuals affected. " - Autism UGA blog 

Today is Autism Awareness day. In June 2010, I was diagnosed with PPD-NOS mainly because no one knows why I didn't speak until age two. Was it because of my sparsely enriched environment in the Philippines or would I have had a speech delay even if I was born in the US and in a typical childhood environment? Had I not had the speech delay, I would have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. 

Autism Awareness month is meaningful to me because I worked in a group home where almost all the clients were on the autism spectrum. I did my best to help them using the training I had as well as personal experience. For example, I knew when one was too upset to use his words, so I would say, "I know you're too frustrated to talk, so could I just see a sign." When he would sign what he wanted, then we were able to move on. 

Today I was thinking about the significance of using a puzzle piece to represent autism. As the quote states, it's to represent the mystery and complexity of the disorder. For me, it also represents a piece that was missing for so long. I didn't know why I had these special interests and why I couldn't hold a conversation like other children. I didn't know why sudden loud sounds bothered me. I didn't know why I could learn about human development but yet have trouble interacting with my adult peers. The diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was the final piece to my identity I was missing. 

When someone is handed a puzzle piece, it's meant to be put somewhere. Perhaps this also represents autism awareness: How best do we integrate those with autism spectrum disorders into society? I would suggest what Dr. Grandin would say: Place us in work environments that use our strengths. For example, I don't mind researching case-law and statutes, and I could do that to write a legal brief. Could I give a speech in front of the Colorado Supreme Court for half an hour? Probably not. Could I write the brief the attorney would use in her arguments. Perhaps after a few years :) Kanner, who researched autism last century found that an individual who enjoyed math and numbers became an accountant. And of course, there's Dr. Grandin herself who owns her own Livestock Handling business and is an avid researcher at Colorado State University. Her love of animals and fascination with animal behavior has made her one of the most epic scientists ever!!! 

When I see myself as a puzzle-piece, I do not think of it negatively. I see myself as a piece in God's hand. He has crafted me into His exact shape, and He has a place for me. He has placed me as an employee at a group home, as a teacher in Children's Ministry at Summitview, as a volunteer at Colorado Legal Services, as a research assistant at Colorado State University, and more recently, as a unique part of my Boaz's heart :D 

More importantly, God has placed me in His larger plan to show Himself to the world as Savior and God. He is using my life in this way. How, I don't know yet. However, Romans 8 says that God uses ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him. He uses  people going about their normal lives, missionaries, pastors, parents, and little puzzle pieces like me to show that in Christ, we have hope that overcomes our obstacles. I am not a mystery to God, and He knows exactly where to place me in His plan. I am a perfect piece in His hand.