Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My husband and I met at Chico State in 1997. We were married in beautiful Lake Tahoe on June 30, 2001!

After struggling through many years of infertility, we decided to adopt a little girl from Guatemala. We brought Aviana home in July of 2007.

On June 17, 2009, our lives were forever changed. My stepfather was carrying Aviana across the street, as my Mom followed a few steps back. A car struck both Gary and Aviana. Although battered and bruised from head to toe, Gary is thankfully now okay physically. Aviana wasn't so fortunate. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

After close to three long months in the hospital, she was able to come home. Sadly, her injury left her unable to walk, talk, or eat by mouth.

We're working to pick up the pieces of our broken family. This blog chronicles our journey in trying fit those pieces back together.



  1. I want to email you..can you please email me so I have your email..

  2. Jen- I just read this after following your blog for quite some time- I know I may be a little slow at times! We too brought our daughter home from Guatemala in September 2007. I posted the other night to "what would you do" and I don't see my post- I am wondering if I might have offended you by it and now I am terrified to post again! My email is dbttoledo@yahoo.com. I certainly hope that I just made a mistake in the way I posted it and I sincerely hope that I typed it correctly and didn't offend you in any way! You are the one of the bravest women that I have ever seen- you aren't afraid to bear your darkest moments with all of us- I do admire you for your courage and honesty!

    Thank you!


  3. Hi Jen,
    My heart goes out to you and your family, especially Aviana. My prayers are with you always. We hope Aviana will heal soon. Prayers do work. Please don't be discouraged. Thank you for the update on Aviana and your blogs as always.

  4. I found you through Vee's blog, and I wanted you to know, that I am praying for you. My heart aches at your journey, but my soul lightens when I see your strength. I know that at times, you probably hate to hear a stranger say such things, but please know, we see beauty and grace when we read your blog.

  5. jen,
    my 6 year old brother, jared, was hit by a car at the beginning on november '10.just yesterday he returned home - still in a coma, but home. we are only 3 months into this, and i know that it is a long one. thank you for having the courage to publicly chronicle your difficult journey. already this experience has changed my definition of perfect. check in on jared's journey if you'd like weloveyoujared.wordpress.com
    aviana is absolutely in our prayers. as are you and the rest of your family.

  6. I sent you a message on facebook, but not sure how often you check it. I don't live far from you, if you ever need anything. Your little girl is beautiful and you and dave have done a great job with her and getting her to where she is. Congrats on getting the feeding tube out!! Someday I hope my son's will come out, but it is doubtful!

  7. My sweet little granddaughter is a patient at UC Davis and was blessed to receive one of your comfort packages yesterday. As you know all too well, it is difficult to be in the hospital for a little one, especially at Christmas. Aviana is beautiful. Thank you to her elves! Merry Christmas. Connie Walczak

  8. I just wanted to say thank you sooo much for the Christmas package that we received while we were at UCD with our baby boy. It brought tears to my eyes and a big smile to my face to know that someone out there was so thoughtful and selfless while going though their own struggles...THANK YOU. You inspired me. My son loved the snacks and crayons :) God bless your family, you will be in my prayers.

  9. I hope you get a chance to read "Holding Silvan," by Monica Wezlowska...(sp.?) She too did the loving, brave and moral thing on behalf of her badly brain-damaged newborn. He died peacefully over the course of a month. I did an analogous thing on my behalf of my parents, by removing all artificial barriers to their merciful, natural and timely deaths. There is a difference between "assisted suicide," "euthanasia," and letting nature take its course, though it's hard to see sometimes in the thick of it. Blessings on all who struggle to love and do the right thing. Katy Butler, author of "Knocking on Heaven's Door."