Marlins of Mercy: Blanca Straub


Junior Blanca Strauv leaving the cafeteria to meet with the students she takes home. Photo by Emily Walugembe

“I was adopted from Guatemala when I was 2 years old. My mother didn’t want to have biological kids and told my dad she planned on adopting. My sister was also adopted from Guatemala [and] when I was 6. They surprised me and told me they were adopting her. I was really happy because she was also from Guatemala and we traveled to Mexico to go see her, [but we didn’t bring her back with us that time]. I stayed with my grandparents when my parents went to actually bring her home, but I got to see her at the airport and I was really happy.

Adoptive families share a day called Family Day. It’s the day that each child was adopted and the kid gets to choose the activity. I like it because usually we go out to watch a movie or play games [that] either me or my sister chooses.

My sister is more emotional about being adopted than I am. She wishes she could have met her biological mom and other family members. Our parents have said they’d take us to look for our families when we’re older because there are a lot of bad parts of Mexico and they want us to be safe. 

My parents are originally from Michigan [and] they both went to Michigan State University. My mom’s roommate used to tutor my dad in math. She introduced them and they got together. Michigan was always their home but we moved from Michigan to Las Vegas when I was 2 because during the crash of 2008, my dad found a job as president of the Toll Brothers company.

Since Las Vegas is in Nevada, it’s close to California so we got to visit California a lot. We were able to go to Disneyland and we were able to go to Dana Point, a beach. We’ve also been whale watching on a boat and it was really fun being on the sea.

We moved back when I was 12 because there weren’t a lot of opportunities to go to school. Michigan has a lot of universities and Las Vegas didn’t have that. [I noticed] people in Michigan are nicer than the people in Las Vegas.”