Thursday, August 30, 2018

Second Chance to Meet Someone Again for the First Time

Have you ever wished you had a second chance to meet someone again for the first time? I do. Not so much as a do over, but more like a do it again. Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. It's important to never miss the opportunity to tell people how much they mean to you because you never know if you will see them again. 

I found my biological family with the help of the amazing CeCe Moore right before Christmas in 2015. It was the best Christmas present I have ever received. I got to know my sisters through email, text messages and phone calls. We grew very close and they were more than my sisters, they were my best friends!! After 8 incrediable months I finally met my sisters face to face on the Dr. Oz Show.

Two years ago my life changed forever. Dr. Oz flew me to New York City to be on his show to talk about how I used DNA to find my biological family. I will never forget when he asked me if I thought my sisters were watching. It took me off guard because I knew the show wasn't filmed live so obviously they weren't watching at that moment. Before I could answer he told me they weren't watching because they were here.  I had waited my whole life to meet them. Meeting my sisters for the first time was one of the happiest moments of my life. I always wanted a sister and now I have two. Meeting Dora and Celina was a dream come true for me.
Side by Side or Miles Apart, We are SISTERS connect by the Heart.

Our time on the Dr. Oz show was very special to us. Dr Oz and his staff were so friendly and kind. I can not say enough good things about them. The show and staff are truly a class act. On the show we talked about my story, how I used a 23andme DNA test to find my family and all information that you can find out from a DNA test. The brilliant CeCe Moore was there to talk about DNA testing. It was a comforting feeling to have CeCe there with us. I'm so glad that she was able to witness our reunion because without her I would have never found my family. You can see the airing of our show on Dr. Oz website.

Dr. Oz, Amy Barriga, Dora Barriga-Lassiter, Celina Barriga, CeCe Moore

After we left the Dr. Oz show we had a day to spend in Manhattan. We had years to make up for. We did not waste any minute. We explored all of Manhattan, taking pictures together, talking, laughing, doing all the things that sisters do. 

Our first Selfie together in the elevator at our hotel right after the Dr. Oz show
Having fun in Time Square. 

Showing our support for the NYPD
Dora spotted a Cuban Restaurant in Time Square. My sisters introduced me to Cuban food. We had a great time at Havana Central Restaurant. 
I was blessed to meet more of my amazing Cuban family while I was in New York. Even though my visit with them was short I loved every minute and absorbed every word they said. I can't thank them enough for coming to meet me. 

We took a magical carriage ride through Central Park. This was one of the most memorable things we did. We laughed so much and had a wonderful time.

When we were in New York, Dora gave me a photo album that she put together for me. It had pictures of our parents, my sisters and brothers throughout their lives. I cherish it to this day. Inside she wrote something very special to me and her words are always with me. 

The next day we all had to leave and go back to different sides of the United States. We didn't want to leave each other and it was really hard to let them go. We had so much time to make up for, but we made memories in New York that will last a lifetime. We vowed to go on a sister trip together every year and we couldn't wait to go back to New York. 

I wish I had a second chance to meet my sisters for the first time again. I wouldn't change a thing. This was the only time I ever saw my sister Dora healthy. She was full of life and love. She was happy and glowing. She was everything I ever wanted in a big sister. I only saw her one more time before she passed away and she was already so sick from the cancer. She was in pain and my heart broke because I could not help her. I was blessed to spend our first Christmas together one year after finding my family. It breaks my heart that is the only Christmas we will ever spend together.  Fourteen months after I found her, six months after I met her in New York, Dora passed away in February 2017.

As today marks the two year anniversary of our time in New York it is bittersweet for me. Not a day goes by that I don't think of being in New York City with my sisters. I miss my sister Dora as much today as I did the day she passed away. It hasn't gotten easier. I need her. Our family needs her, and I am still angry that cancer took her from us so abruptly.  Even though I didn't have enough time with her, I am thankful for every second I did have with her. We thought that we had many years to make up for the years we were separated, but we didn't. I look at the album she gave me everyday and I read the words she wrote to me. Celina and I are very close, but we both know that a part of us is missing with Dora gone. 

Thank you everyone for your support. Reading my blog, sharing my story, sharing my page is all appreciated more than you will ever know. I am working really hard right now on sharing my story through books and film. I just want to say that I would have never been on the Dr. Oz show or found my family, or had any time with my sisters if it wasn't for each one of you sharing and writing and showing support and love to me in some way. I can never thank you enough. You made my dreams come true. For more information about the books and movies you can visit the website.

To Dora:
Those special memories of you will always bring a smile. If only I could have you back for just a little while. Then we could sit and talk again just like we use to do. You always meant so much and always will too. The fact that you're no longer here will always cause me pain. But you are forever in my heart until we meet again!!

Happy Two Year Anniversary on our meeting Dora and Celina. I love you both so much!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Find your dream and then risk everything to make it a reality!!

  Find your dream and then risk everything to make it a reality!! 

For almost 20 years I had one dream and that was finding my biological family. I never gave up on that dream even though at times I never thought it would become a reality. If you followed my story, you know some of the obstacles I encountered along the way. But I made a promise to myself that I would never give up. 

Tonight I was reminded of one of the lowest times of my journey. As I read the words that  I wrote my heart broke. I remember the pain and sadness that I felt and how I wanted to give up. But I couldn't. I knew that was not my destiny. 

This journey has been filled with so much struggle, but I always knew that God put me in that phone booth to be an example and inspiration to others in similar situations. I never forgot that no matter how hard things seemed, I knew I needed to stay positive for others. 

I have known for many years that I was going to write a book about my life story and since moving to Hollywood I have had the chance to make my story a movie. Actually a series or franchise of movies and this is just the beginning. I always said everything would happen in God's time and that time is now. I am beyond excited for what the future holds.

To me this is about so much more than sharing my life story. Everyone has a story- a testimony- which defines, shapes, moves and propels them. When we share our story we are able to move others by inspiring, giving hope, or touching their lives in some way. Throughout my journey the response I have received when I share my story with someone is overwhelming. The amount of people who have reached out to me inspired me to move forward. The encouragement and love that was poured out drove me to continue when I felt like I couldn't go on. The stories that were shared with me made me feel like I wasn't alone. I am eternally grateful to everyone that reached out to me and helped me on my journey.

Through the "Abandoned" series I want to inspire people to move forward no matter what obstacles are in front of them. I want people to know that there is hope, no matter how hopeless the situation may seem. I want people to know that they are not alone, no matter how lonely they may feel.  I know feelings of loss, loneliness, and despair can be tragic but I want people to know that these feelings can be replaced with joy, happiness and love. When you are facing trials in life I want to encourage you to keep going. Don't stand in the fire, walk through to the other side!!

I am excited with all that is happening. Two books will be complete soon. Abandoned Vol.1 and also a bible study. These two books have been a work in progress for some time and I am thrilled to share them with you.

The movie is in pre production. It takes a lot to make a movie, especially when it's a time piece based on a true story. I am excited for the cast and crew to travel to Oklahoma and bring this story to life. The business cards promoting the movie are here. The website is up.
The movie Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and youtube are all active. There is a link to all the social media on the website.

There is a go fund me account
To make this movie become a reality I need to raise money. It is costly to make a movie. Props, locations, insurance, costumes, equipment, not to mention the travel and accommodation and food for the cast and crew, just to name a few expenses.

I will be blogging often and keeping everyone up to date on the progress. You can also follow on social media to stay even more up to date.

You can donate to this movie on the Go Fund me or straight from the website. I encourage you to visit the website. On the website is a list of donation rewards. The rewards range from a movie t shirt to having a part in the movie. I appreciate your support so much. It means more to me than I can express. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Step into my shoes and walk a mile with me

Step into my shoes and walk a mile with me, the journey has been long and the road was not easy, but  by the grace of God and the help of some amazing people I made it. 

A few years ago a day like today seemed impossible. I just spent 9 days at my sister's house. Our kids are best friends like cousins should be. We all have a lot of time to make up for but we are defiantly a family....finally.  I was sitting at the kitchen table and the kids were all sitting around and my sister was cooking and everyone was talking and laughing and it felt like complete chaos, I loved every second of it. It felt like a family should be and I never wanted that moment to end.

So many of us take these small moments for granted. I will never do that again. I spent many long years trying to find out who I was and its better than I ever could have imagined. I could have never made this dream come true without the help of everyone who supported me and shared my story. Because of all of you my story was heard by the right people who could help and make my dream a reality. There were so many times that  I thought I would never have my questions answered and your inspiring messages kept me going. The road was long and hard and lots of time my supporters carried me along my journey. I am eternally grateful.

For many years I have been asked when I was going to share my story with the world. I always said "I don't have an ending yet." and once I had the ending I still had so many questions that I needed answers to. I am still learning more every day, but the time is here, the time is now!! I am ready to share this story and inspire others to NEVER give up!!

I am starting with releasing a book in a few months and it will be followed by a movie. Abandoned Vol.1 will tell the beginning of the story. It is a heart wrenching, inspiring story of love and abandonment. It will defiantly pull at your heart strings.  My hope with this movie is the same as it was when sharing my story through this blog. It is to give hope and inspire others. If I can do it, you can do it! Nothing is impossible, even if it seems impossible!

Making a movie is a costly project for production. We plan to travel with cast and crew to Oklahoma. We plan to recreate 1978. I promise you won't be disappointed! I have started a Gofundme account! I am asking if everyone could donate something, even if it's $1. Everything helps and gets us towards our goal.  I would have never made it this far without you and together we can bring hope to those across the world.

If you would like to donate $1000 or more I have some donation packages for you ( things like- executive producer, movie extra, advertising, name in credits)  you can email me at for more information.

I'll be sharing more about production as it progresses. For now I just ask that everyone share this story and the gofundme page and please donate if you can.

Visit my GoFundMe page for more information and to date!! Please share!!!
I know that with love and support anything is possible!! Thank you all so much!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017


It has been a very long time since I posted a blog. Most people know my story by now.
I was abandoned when I was a new born baby. I spent almost 20 years searching for my biological family. Using DNA with the help of CeCe Moore I found my family in December 2015.
The first person to reach out to me from my family was a second cousin named Steven. A few days later his sweet mother, my first cousin Cili reached out to through email. Cili was wonderful. She told me all about my dad and my cuban side of the family. She was such a blessing in my life.

Finding my family was bittersweet. The bitter part was that both of my parents are deceased. That was so hard! After 20 years of wanting more than anything to meet my parents, when I finally found out who they were it is to late. The sweet part was that I had FOUR FULL SIBLINGS!! What a sweet blessing. I was so surprised to find out that I had siblings, especially that they were all my full siblings.

Cili and I decided that it would be best if she let the family know about me. I wasn't sure how they would react or feel about me. Cili contacted my sister, Dora, first.
Cili told me: Quote from Dora: "If she is indeed my sister, she has all our love and we will accept her as one of us, unconditionally."
 Dora and my other sister Celina agree to take a DNA test. That night Dora emailed me.

It was December 22, 2015:
I am not going to share the full email, but this is how it started. These are the first words I heard from my sweet and loving sister:
Hi Amy,
     I am so excited and nervous to write to you.  I guess I should start by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about my family, a family I believe you belong in. 

She told me about my brothers and my other sister. She told me about my parents and how they both died. She told me about all my nieces and nephews. Then she said:

 I hope that gives you a little knowledge of who we all are.  I definately want you to get to know more about us, but that is a good start.  From the information I have seen about you online I see that you also have a beautiful family of your own.

Then she really touched my heart:

 I believe that you are at least my half sister, maybe full sister.  I dont know or begin to understand how my sister ended up in that phone booth in 1978.  I wish I could tell you why, but I want to tell you Sorry! From the bottom of my heart, I would never want to have lost a sister!  I find myself spending the whole day just lost in thought, asking over and over, how is this happening.  I have prayed so many times today asking for an answer. I just dont know when or how God will give us this answer.

Then she told me about the type of loving and caring people that my parents were. Dora loved our parents very much, as did everyone who knew them. Then she said what i had waited 20 years to hear:

 I guess what I really want you to know is that we do believe that you are our sister and we already love you.  I cant explain what must have happened, but I can tell you that the 4 of us would never step away from you and are really excited to have a new baby sister!  I don't wanna come on to strong and I still have a lot of feelings and emotions I have to sort out. I really cant wait to hear from you.  I hope we can be the family you have search so long and so hard for. 
Your sister (I just know it)

I waited 20 years to hear that my family loved me and I heard it from Dora first. I responded to the email immediately and we have emailed then text or talked everyday since I received  this email. Dora is the rock of this family. We all go to her. She listens, she cares and she loves. She is the best! 

The DNA tests came back and Dora and my beautiful sister, Celina, are confirmed full siblings. It just confirmed what we already knew. 

I am no longer Baby Maybelle! I am AMY BARRIGA!! 

I have 4 amazing siblings.  I wanted a sister my whole life and I have two! I can't believe it. They have became more than sisters, they are my best friends. I love them so much and there is nothing I wouldn't do for them. My brother Recardo is equally amazing. He has became the greatest man in my life. I haven't got to meet my brother, Albert yet, but he is an amazing man too. I love hearing all the stories about them growing up with our mom and dad. They are an incredible family and I am beyond blessed to be a part of it. 

In August I flew to New York City to be on the Dr. Oz show. He was interviewing me about using DNA to find my family. I was beyond surprised when Dr. Oz asked me if I thought that my sisters would be watching this at home. I said yes. He said "They're not, because they are here." After 8 months I finally got to meet my sisters/best friends face to face!! It was one of the greatest moments of my life. 
Here is the link to the show.

Thank you so much to CeCe Moore and the Dr. Oz show for making my dream come true! 

Below is the moment I saw my sisters for the first time. We joked later about how I choked Dora. But when I hugged them I never wanted to let go. I would give anything to pause time right here. 

After the show Dora, Celina and I spent the whole day exploring Manhattan. It was truly one of the greatest days of my life. It was like we had been together our whole lives.

Dora saw the Cuban restaurant in Time Square. We had to go there and eat and have a drink. It was so good. I will visit this restaurant every time I return to New York. 

The horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park was so magical. We laughed and made memories that I will never forget. 

We barely slept the whole trip. We made a million memories. 

The worst part of the trip was when we all had to leave. We had to go back to our own homes all the way across the United States from each other. But we decided that we would take a sister trip every year and make it a tradition. Even though we wanted to return to New York again, we decided we should go to Miami next time. We hoped to visit Cuba together someday. 

In December I was so blessed to be able to travel to Alabama to spend Christmas with my family. It was when I arrived at Dora's house that I learned that she was sick. I was completely surprised.  My heart broke seeing her in pain. She wasn't sure what was wrong, but the doctors suspected cancer. 

I told Dora that it was Ok. God just brought them into my life, he was not going take them from me this soon. We have plans. We have memories to make. We have years to make up for. Dora, Celina and I are going to be three peas in a pod. We have so much life to experience together.  I just knew she was going to be ok. SHE HAS TO BE!! 

A month ago the news came that she had cancer. But the doctor gave her so much hope. We knew she was going to beat it and be better and healthier than ever. She told Wayne, her husband, that after she beat it she wanted to do a sister trip. I just knew it would be this summer. 

My sister got so sick. She couldn't eat. She couldn't sleep. She was in pain. But Barriga women are strong. Even though she was sick, she NEVER gave up! She was always full of HOPE! She was always full of LOVE!

Six weeks after I left her house at Christmas, Dora was sicker than I ever thought possible. Last night she went into cardiac arrest. 

I want more than anything to be there with my sister right now. But there is no way I can. I spoke or messaged her every day since that first email. I saw her on two different occasions (one in New York and once at Christmas) I am eternally thankful for those two times that we spent together. 

We were suppose to have more time! I am angry! I just found my family how can she be taken from me so quickly? 

Dora is the most loving, caring, considerate and kind person I know. She taught me so much about my family. She accepted and loved me since day one. She didn't just say she loved me, she showed me everyday too. I could talk to her about anything.  We made so many plans of things we wanted to do. 

I am writing this with a heavy heart. I want everyone to know that Dora is one of the greatest people in my life!! Please don't take life for granted. People can be taken from you in an instant! My sisters and I thought we had a lifetime together. The tears won't stop and the pain inside is unbearable. Writing has always been my outlet to reality. I will be writing about Dora the rest of my life. 

I still have two amazing brothers and 1 amazing sister. I really want to get to know Albert and his family more. I am going to spend as much time as I can with Recardo and Celina. I want Celina and I to still take those sister trips in honor of Dora. 

I am thankful for the last 14 months that I got to know Dora. Thank you God for allowing that! 

Rest in Peace my sweet and beautiful big sister! You taught me so much in such a short time! I love you more than words can express. 

Dora Barriga Lassister- GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Video Blog and Surgery

It seems like once again things have taken a stand still in my search. This isn't surprising to me. It seems to be the cycle of my search.

I had surgery on Monday to have my gall bladder removed. I have been having problems with it for a couple of years, but just found out recently it was my gall bladder. The doctor wanted to take it out and even though the thought of surgery and removing an organ from my body was scary, I  went ahead and did it. The surgeon said that my gall bladder was twice the normal size. Right now I am recovering and ready to feel normal again. I have been researching everything about life without a gall bladder and gall bladder disease.

 Gall Bladder disease is more common in females and it is hereditary. There is that word- Hereditary!! It is a scary word to me, because I have NO family medical history! I have 3 daughters. I have always been afraid that I would have something that I could pass on to them and not even know it ran in my "family." I pray my girls never have any problems with there gall bladder. If I had known that this was a condition that ran in my "family" I could have done things in my life to possibly prevent this surgery. I am thankful that this is not a life threatening illness but I am saddened that it is a reminder that there is so much about me that I don't know.

Heredity can be as simple as eye color or as complex as cancer. Whatever the case may be I have no clue what I have inherited or could pass on to my kids. Honestly that is one of the scariest parts of being adopted, the unknown. I still have hope that some day I will find my family and finally be able to fill out that family medical section of my medical paper work….

I decided to take my search a step forward and start a video blog. I get a lot of messages with tips and ideas for searching. I also get a lot of messages from people searching and asking me for ideas and tips. I am going to use this video blog to share my story and what I have done in my search, what has worked and what hasn't worked.

I know it can be overwhelming searching for someone. Starting is the hardest thing. I hope my video blog can gel people that are searching as well as help get my story out. I attached the first video to this blog. I plan to do one every week, although I will admit that life gets busy sometimes so I may miss a week here or there, but I plan to stay on track.

I have so much support from my followers and I would just like to give back. Please watch my video and share it. If I can't find my biological family, I would at least like to help someone else in their search.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Great time with Tad and Lindsey

^^^^^^^^^ Above is the link to my interview with Tad and Lindsey on Mix 96.5^^^^^^^^^

I learned when I was a youth pastor about "divine connections". These are connections that you make with people that you know are destined by God. For example two great Pastors that I know, met and developed a friendship and then the two joined their ministries together to host one of the most amazing youth Rally's I have ever been to.  I have had many divine connections in my life. Sometimes you know instantly that you met someone for a reason, other times you don't learn until much later.

My middle daughter started gymnastics at a gym in Stillwater when she was 7 years old. She was a natural and started on the competitive team after only two months of gymnastics. Before long my youngest daughter started gymnastics as well. She was much younger and just started on a recreational level. My girls had some great coaches while they were doing gymnastics. I was friends with some of their coaches. One sweet girl named Alicia.

Alicia was a student in college and she was a great coach because she could show the girls what she wanted then to do, be stern, but caring at the same time. My girls adored Alicia. She carried my youngest daughter all over that gym! We were very sad when she graduated and left, but she and I remained friends on Facebook.

Alicia taged me in a post last week on Facebook.  Lindsey from Tad and Lindsey Mix 96 wanted to get in touch with me. Alicia's fiancĂ© works with Lindsey's husband. Small world? No, divine connection!

I went to Tulsa on Thursday to interview with Tad and Lindsey on their morning show. I started to get a little nervous when I got on the elevator, but once I met Lindsey's smiling face I was at ease. She took me to meet Tad. They were so cool that I forgot that I was being recorded.

Tad caught me totally off guard when he said the first question that he was going to ask me was totally uncomfortable. Then he asked why I didn't accept his friend request on Facebook. It was a great ice breaker for sure. I really enjoyed visiting with Tad and Lindsey. They were so nice. I am so thankful to them for taking time and allowing me to share my story with their listeners.  I am so thankful that my daughter took gymnastics 5 years ago and had a coach named Alicia who's  fiancĂ©e works with Lindsey's husband!! I am thankful to Tad and Lindsey for having interest in my story. They were so kind that they gave me some mega ride passes. My kids are super excited about that. 

Sharing my story is my biggest chance of finding my biological family. Everytime it is shared I have another chance that someone in my biological family will see it. Please share this blog and ask your friends to listen to me share my story with Tad and Lindsey. Everyone that hears is another chance.

Thank you so much to everyone who keeps sharing my story!! I have only gotten this far because of you!

HUGE thanks to Tad and Lindsey and Mix 96 for allowing me to share my story with their listeners.

Psalms 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Open Doors

Joyce Meyers said "Having patience is not just the act of waiting, but waiting with a good attitude." When you have been searching and waiting for the same thing for 18 years sometimes it's hard to have a good attitude about it. I can honestly say the past month I have had the best attitude in my search to date. The amazing support that I am getting is such a blessing.

First KFOR ran my story online. I still don't know who ran it or how they even heard about my story, but I am extremely grateful to whomever it was.  After KFOR shared my story activity on my blog and Facebook page picked up. I was contacted by the Tulsa World. I went to Tulsa for an interview, and it was the best part of my search so far.

If you didn't get to see the story I attached the link at the top of the blog. Please take time to read and share the story that Michael Overall wrote. There is also a video that John Clanton put together. I love how they shared my story. On the website is a baby picture of me. I was so shocked when I saw it. The only baby pictures that I have seen of myself before 6 months old was printed out from microfiche. I believe this may be the same picture, but only zoomed out and clear. I am so thankful to the Tulsa World for sharing that picture.

This is my newborn baby picture. I am guessing this picture was taken by a photographer at the Tulsa World when they ran my original story in 1978. After 36 years I am beyond excited to finally have this picture! It's funny how the little things mean so much. I finally have a baby picture to compare to my girls.

I read the article and saw this amazing picture online before the story ran in print. There is a video with the article. I love this video. I love the footage from the fairgrounds. This is the video that I would love for my biological mother to see.

I was even more surprised when I got the paper on Tuesday.

I wasn't expecting front page!! I can not thank the Tulsa World enough!!

The only way I know to find my family is for them to find me. I am putting myself out there to be found. I don't know who they are, but I am making sure they know who I am. The Tulsa World has helped me with that. I am believing that this piece the Tulsa World did is going to get me closer than I have ever been before.

Lindsey Bauer, morning show host at Mix 96 in Tulsa has invited me to be on her show tomorrow morning.  I am excited. I have never done radio, so I am nervous, but I am so thankful for this opportunity. Any chance to share my story is a chance my biological family will see it. If you can listen to Mix 96.5 tomorrow morning.

Thank you for all the encouragement! I could not have made it this far without you!! Your words of encouragement and prayers really do keep me going. Thank you for all your suggestions and ideas to help me in my search! I am so thankful to everyone who shares my story!! God is opening doors for me that I never thought possible. I will continue patiently (with a good attitude) moving forward to where ever God leads.

Since I first started Maybelle page on Facebook in March it has been a wild ride. Sometimes I want to give up and sometimes I want to press forward. I always come to the same conclusion. It is all in God's hands. The desire of my heart is to meet my biological mom, in God's timing. So I will continue step through each door that God open's for me.