Featured Staff – Marina Rinehart

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Featured Staff – Marina Rinehart

When I Won the Lottery by Marina Rinehart

            My name is Luz “Marina” Rinehart and I was born on the 14th of April, in Bogotá, Colombia. The story of my life, interestingly enough, began on April Fool’s Day… I’m not fooling you. April 1, 2004, I became a Rinehart.  Many children in foster care grow up without a family to call their own, but I was lucky enough to win the lottery and be placed with my forever home in America when I was eight years old.  I am so thankful life was kind enough to give me a second chance of living life freely.  It’s such a amazing feeling to have people in my life to be grateful for.  My birth mother, Mercedes, gave me a gift of life, when she decided she could no longer care for my two siblings and I. She chose to give us the opportunity for a better life by placing us in foster care with the hope of someday being adopted into a loving home.  My parents, Jim & Debbie Rinehart, raised five children of their own while providing a home for foreign exchange students from around the world, before being blessed with the spirit of adoption.  Adoption cam be beautiful, amazing and life saving because that’s what I’ve experienced.

My GMA is the heart and soul of my HUGE family.  When my GMA passed away, it was heartbreaking.  However, she left behind a legacy of love. I didn’t realize at the time, but it was my GMA who inspired me to become a caregiver. During those times I would spend with my GMA at Oak Pointe, I would have those deep, meaningful conversations with her, and she would speak so highly of those who cared for her.  Even witnessing the outpouring of love and support from the staff as they cared for my grandma as if she was their grandmother.  It was that moment I realized I wanted to help people.  I hope that in some small way, I might be able to inspire others as she did me.  I will always be grateful for having  a grandmother who taught me so much about love, forgiveness and acceptance. She inspired me to embark on a career in helping people. I am excited about what the future holds and hope I can make my grandma proud.  And her I am now, a senior, awaiting graduation. Onward!