Lourdes spent her 18th birthday in line at the Health Department, the nervous energy bubbling over into her feet. Or perhaps it was that fifth cup of coffee? She danced from toe to toe, cursing her December birth month and the ungodly weather. Who knew it could be twenty degrees in Alabama? She missed Texas already.

She made small talk with the other folks in line, and tried to guess what they were here for: vaccines, birth certificates, death certificates, the list went on. And those with that hopeful gleam in their eyes: adoption records. She shivered and at precisely 9:01 a.m. was ushered into the blessedly warm waiting room.

The crowd dispersed and she alone found herself in front of the vital records clerk. She stammered out her mission, presented her identification. Twenty minutes and a fistful of cash later, she held the holy grail: a plain 8×11″ manila folder stammped with the state seal.

She found herself in the lobby again, and stole a rickety wood bench seat. Hands shaking, she managed to break the seal and reveal the truth.

Mother- Guadelupe Lamos

Father- Richard Trantham

She swallowed the bile back. Trantham? She felt dizzy. THE Richard Trantham? The lawyer? The anti-immigration lawyer? That was her father?

Lourdes nearly vomited, she nearly burned the papers, she nearly renounced her religion, her law school admission.

Then she smiled and took a deep cleansing breath. And then she called her advisor, who was working on the amnesty case.

“Have I got some information for you, might blow your case wide open….”


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