I have known Mariel since October 2009, just after the birth of her first child. She is my friend and neighbor. Our children are close in age and often play together. We have been to Mariel's house many times for birthday parties and playdates. I would never hesitate to leave my children at Mariel's home. Mariel is one of the most kind and caring people I know. She adores children. She is so patient and calm. Mariel has such a good heart. She could not and would not ever hurt a child. I can't imagine a situation much worse than what she going through right now. I can't imagine how frightening it must be to be facing such serious charges and then an actual guilty verdict for something she didn't do. I find it terrifying that such a thing is possible in our country, but sadly it is. But Mariel has faced this situation with grace, faith and patience, just like she lives life every day. Mariel is a beautiful person. Mariel inspires me to be a better person.
I have known Mariel for 17 years. We met when she came her junior year to St. Croix Lutheran. I can still remember meeting her and her mom that first day in the dorms. We lived in the dorms together for those two years of high school, and during that time we became close friends. She came with my family for some holidays, just as she went with other families and friends at times. We continued to stay in contact as we went off to different colleges. I was blessed to visit and stay with her family two times. Once for a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and once just to spend time with her and her family. She met my husband before I did in college.
Over the years, I was in her wedding and she was part of ours. My husband and I are blessed to be Godparents to her second child. We have seen how loving, patient, and kind she is with all babies and children. We have witnessed this time and time again in the way she talks to, holds and interacts with babies. She is the first to want to hold and snuggle someone's baby. When we were finally blessed with a child through adoption, the piece of advice she gave me rang in my head all the time. She told me despite what some people say, "you can never spoil a baby". Anytime I worried about how to do something, like adjust my son's sleep habits, I would contact Mariel. She is one of the best mothers I know, and an example I can only hope to follow. She was always encouraging and reminding me that each child is different and that is ok. What works for one may not work for every child.
I remember going to an aquarium with her and her children and being in awe of the way she asked her kids questions. It was very evident that she was a teacher, and a very good one at that. She wasn't just asking "What do you see? What is this?" She asked questions that had her children thinking and responding in ways I would not have thought of.
I have known Mariel for a long time and she always was and will continue to be an exemplary person for me to follow.
She guided, educated, and motivated me to breastfeed my child. Additionally, about 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin Lymphoma. My family and I were going through a financial crisis and didn’t have the resources to pay for treatment. As soon as Mariel and her family learned of my situation, they began raising funds to cover my medical fees, and thanks to their efforts, I was able to complete all of my prescribed treatments. I will never forget how difficult it was for me to witness my hair falling off because of the chemo, but as soon as Mariel and her sister Heidi found out about this, they bought me a beautiful wig to help me feel better through the treatment process.
By the grace of God, I overcame that illness and today I have a beautiful family. Before I got married, Mariel and her family helped me go on vacation to Minnesota and Mariel's sister helped pay for my flight. I had the opportunity to visit Mariel in her home and I can testify of the big impact left in my mind when I saw how devoted, patient and loving she was with her children, and that these children were very happy with their mother. I also met the boy she used to babysit; Mariel and her children anticipated his arrival in the mornings with joy, and they treated him as another member of the family.
When I learned of the unfortunate situation she is going through, I was in total shock, I simply could not understand how such a kind person who is filled with love for all children could be accused of hurting anyone. I ask God to give her and her family the strength they need to get through this, and that He grant the attorneys and judges the wisdom to make just decisions. I also ask God to fill Mariel’s accusers’ hearts with love. Mariel is not alone, she has many people supporting her and praying by her side, and I believe the truth will prevail.
I’ve known Mariel for over 20 years and I can attest to the fact that she is indisputably a person of good character, a woman of integrity, and has a remarkable disposition to serve and love others. I cannot conceive how someone of such a kind nature like Mariel could remotely hurt another human being, let alone an innocent child. I am convinced that in its rightful time, God will allow His true justice to prevail.
I have known Mariel and her family for many years. When my daughters were small, I made a conscious effort to help them choose good friends because I am conservative and protective of good values. This is why Mariel and her sisters became my daughters’ friends. I considered the fact that her parents, renowned physicians and people of integrity, are also admired and well-respected by everyone in our community. I have admired Mariel as an emotionally stable young woman; very sweet and kind, she possesses a beautiful inner light, and she has a deep love of children.
When my first grandchild was born, Mariel was a loyal advisor to my daughter. Despite the geographic distance between them, Mariel guided her since the onset of her pregnancy: she explained the benefits of breastfeeding, and gave her tips on how to care for her baby and maintain him healthy, among other things.
I consider Mariel to be an exemplary woman, with exceptional grace, and unable to harm others, especially not a child to whom she dedicated her time and cared for as if he were one of her own small children.
I know Mariel through my wife, as she guided her on breastfeeding and motherhood. I can attest that Mariel is an exemplary mother and a trustworthy person, incapable of mistreating a child.
I first knew Mariel when she came to St. Croix Lutheran High School. She was on the cheer team there during the first and second years I coached it. She was a complete delight to have on the team! Always on time, hard-working, listening, never had fights or entanglements or complaints with the other girls, but was always gentle, loving and understanding. She wanted to make sure she was doing everything right, always asking and double checking to make sure! Being friends with the larger Grimm family, I have continued to see Mariel every year at church and family gatherings. In all the time coaching her and being at her family's gatherings, I have never even seen Mariel irritated, much less angry. I can't recall ever hearing her even complain about anything! Through the years, we have swapped stories about the births of our children, homeschooling, breastfeeding, and raising a family.
Mariel was and still is thankful for her life. And, as apparent in her trial, there is nothing that this world can throw at her that will even remotely come close to being able to loosen her steadfastness because it is built upon the rock that is Christ Jesus. Her life exquisitely displays what it means to live surrendered to her Lord. She is emulating patience, kindness, goodness and self-control in all she does, accepting all that happens in her life is God's will for her, and her opportunity to testify of her faith in Christ.
As close friends with Mariel’s brother-in-law and the entire Grimm family, we got to know Mariel and her family well a few years ago when her oldest child was just a baby. Since our own sons were babies they’ve always enjoyed hanging out with Mariel’s children and their many cousins. From the very beginning, we saw how wonderful of a mom Mariel is! She is the most caring, calming, gentle, and patient person there can be. Even when disciplining kids, we’ve never heard Mariel raise her voice at her own or other children, much less use any kind of forceful coercion or punishment. As caring, gentle and patient as Mariel is, we would not hesitate a moment to have Mariel provide care for our children.
We are an educator family in addition to parents. Mariel is a fellow education professional with experience teaching young kids. We’ve enjoyed many an insightful conversation about child-rearing, disciplining, and teaching young children in general and in context of raising our own kids. Mariel always fascinated us as an incredibly intentional educator and mom. This is evident in everything, from her commitment and effort to teach her children her language and culture, to the choice to homeschool them. As aware and intentional an educator as Mariel is, we would not hesitate a moment to have Mariel as our children’s teacher.
The first time I saw Mariel she was a baby in her mother’s arms. She had beautiful eyes and was always so sweet. In 2006, we moved to Minnesota. My husband became a seminary student and Mariel was living in Minnesota, so we reconnected with Mariel. She was asking, “What do you need?” She came to our house with blankets, mattresses, pillows, etc. She immediately opened her house to invite us in for dinner. Every year we receive people from other countries for conferences. One time, during the coldest days, she cooked dinner for 30 or more people. I was amazed how she can do so much, and always have her children with her. I never saw Mariel raise her voice, always kind, patient, and smiling. Every Sunday she came to church, she stopped by to say hi at our Hispanic ministry at church, smiling and teaching her children to be friendly. Pastors’ wives from church have talked to me about Mariel, how wonderful she was at MOMS at her table. I was so blessed to confirm that.
Mariel and I attended the same church for many years, and I experienced nothing but kindness from her. I have never seen her lose her patience with her kids, or anyone else for that matter. There is no doubt in my mind that she is completely innocent of all accusations. I am continually amazed by her humble attitude and her gentle spirit, especially as she is undergoing such extreme hardship. I pray that God would bring the truth to light, to restore what has been lost, and to bring healing to this little boy and his family.
Mariel is my cousin. From a very young age she was very calm, loving, and God-fearing. She was active at church, always liked children, and very helpful to others. Mariel would never hurt anyone. She has always been transparent. I know her parents raised her to be excellent, brilliant, a girl educated with values. She is patient, loving, and loves children.
We have known Mariel since her high school years. She is cheerful, kind, and would not lie. Her openness and attitude throughout this horrendous accusation and trial have been beyond reproach. There is nothing substantial to contradict her actions and testimony. Mariel is loved by all who know her and every one of her family, friends, and acquaintances know that she would never hurt or harm a child.
I met Mariel back in 1992 while living in the Dominican Republic – we were chosen by our choir leader at the time to sing a Christmas Carol together during a holiday event at our local church. Mariel was, and still is, the sweetest human being I’ve ever met! She offered me her friendship since the very first minute we met, turning my weekends, holidays, church camps and birthdays into beautiful memories that I think about all the time. We have remained extremely close for nearly 28 years.
I remember our conversations like they happened yesterday, especially the ones when my heart was hurting for one reason or another and how I found understanding, love, and encouragement in her friendship. I also remember multiple occasions when someone would hurt Mariel’s feelings and how her first reaction was always to be understanding, loving, and forgiving towards that person, no matter the circumstances. Loyalty, honesty, and integrity have always been the pillars of her beautiful personality. Regardless of the geographic distance between us, and despite the many years that have gone by, we have remained very close, and I’ve always known that I can count on her sincerity and love under any circumstance.
I traveled to Minnesota to visit her two years ago and had the blessing to spend time with her and her gorgeous children. I got to witness firsthand how the friend I had known all these years had become such an amazing mom and a loving wife! I do not have children of my own yet, but I can honestly say that seeing Mariel with her children has shown me that she would be a great role model for how I would want to be with mine. Her children are extremely well taken care of, they enjoy a beautiful home with toys, educational entertainment so they can learn multiple languages, cleanliness, affection, and more importantly, the unconditional love of a Godly mother who cares for every single aspect of their lives.
In all these years knowing her, I’ve never seen Mariel lose her patience; to the contrary, it has always amazed me how under difficult circumstances, she continues to be so level-headed and peaceful, while devising healthy ways to overcome challenging situations. If there is an attribute I can see as a consistent pattern of Mariel’s personality, it is her love and tender approach to others no matter what. From her babies to a stranger, she is consistently graceful while always putting others’ needs first. I trust Mariel with all my heart, with my conscience, and would have her watch my future children in a heartbeat, no questions asked. I love Mariel and feel extremely blessed to call her my friend since we were little. Witnessing the woman of God that she has become is a joy that I will always carry in my heart.