Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon


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“Please, don’t let my hand go”

These are the words of Eddie Justice to his best friend Demetrice Naulings during the terror in Orlando. Now we are left with the grieving, the rage, the fear and–each other. It is a time to hold on to friends and loved ones. A time to remember those who lost their lives

Edward Sotomayor Jr. (34), Stanley Almodovar III (23), Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo (20), Juan Ramon Guerrero (22), Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera (36), Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz (22), Luis S. Vielma (22), Kimberly Morris (37), Eddie Jamoldroy Justice (30), Darryl Roman Burt II (29), Deonka Deidra Drayton (32), Alejandro Barrios Martinez (21), Anthony Luis Laureano Disla (25), Jean Carlos Mendez Perez (35), Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez (50), Amanda Alvear (25), Martin Benitez (33), Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon (37), Mercedes Marisol Flores (26), Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado (35), Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez (25), Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez (31), Oscar A. Aracena-Montero (26), Enrique L. Rios, Jr. (25), Miguel Angel Honorato (30), Javier Jorge-Reyes (40), Joel Rayon Paniagua (32), Jason Benjamin Josaphat (19), Cory James Connell (21), Juan P. Rivera Velazquez (37), Luis Daniel Conde (39), Shane Evan Tomlinson (33), Juan Chevez- Martinez (25), Jerald Arthur Wright (31), Leroy Valentin Fernandez (25), Tevin Eugene Crosby (25), Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega (24), Jean C. Nives Rodriguez (27), Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala (33), Brenda Lee Marquez McCool (49), Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan (24), Christopher Andrew Leinonen (32), Angel L. Candelaria-Padro (28), Frank Hernandez (27), Paul Terrell Henry (41), Antonio Davon Brown (29), Christopher Joseph Sanfelciz (24), Akira Monet Murray (18), Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez (25).

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Mourners going hands/David Goldman/The Associated Press

As I typed the names of the shooting victims, I tried to picture each one of them as a newborn welcomed into this world as they were given their meaningful names. I thought of each of them as children with life spread before them. Each and every one was someone’s son or daughter, lover, spouse, sister, brother, aunt, uncle or friend. I pray their lives gave them joy along with the inevitable trials. I pray that their souls find peace in the afterlife and that they are never forgotten.

A few of the survivors are still critical at this time, and I pray for their recovery and all those who were injured. Everyone involved–from those who almost went dancing that night, but decided for one reason or another to stay home to those who witnessed the shootings and those who were wounded and survived will carry the scars for life. We have all been touched by this tragedy.

 

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Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

~Maya Angelou~

Scott Wilbanks, author of The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster speaks much better than I can to hate and love, the Orlando Massacre and the LGBT community :

http://www.scottbwilbanks.com/whats-a-parade-without-it/

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In This House We do Love

I just learned about this movement/organization and want to share it.

RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adopting to meet the needs of the 400,000 children in the foster care system. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. For information about how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, please visit www.RaiseAChild.US.

 As you know, if you read this blog, I spent most of my childhood in foster care because my lesbian mother died estranged from her family ties. I was blown away when I read the story of Adam Reisman and his husband, Ryan:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/let-love-define-feamily-6-3-2016_us_5750ab58e4b0c3752dcd230c

and then learned that it is part of a series being written by the Huffington Post that highlights LGBT families.

I knew I had to share their story when I read that Adam and Ryan along with their two children live by these rules in their home:

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RaiseAChild.US is the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBT and all prospective parents interested in building families through fostering and adoption to meet the needs of the 415,000 children in the foster care system of the United States. RaiseAChild.US recruits, educates and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. Take the Next Step to Parenthood at http://www.RaiseAChild.US or call us at (323) 417-1440.