I was born in El Salvador, and my parents were revolutionaries in the civil war. I was separated from my family and adopted by Americans. I grew up here not knowing anything about my past. In 1997 I was reunited with my birth family and traveled down to Central America to meet them. Since then we have become a big family, thanks in part to the internet.
Using the Internet to Reunite
In 1997 we were contacted by phone and told my birth family had been looking for me. To find our number, Physicians for Human Rights preformed an internet search. This was very forward thinking at the time since the internet was still being established and Google hadn’t even taken off yet.
Over the years the internet has become an important part of how we stay in contact. I chat on messenger and video skype with many different members of my family on a daily basis. We don’t always get to see each other in person but this type of connection has kept us close.
Thanks to the internet I am able to help manage the IT systems that my birth father uses in his business. I can manage their server remotely and deploy applications to help them work more effectively. I am able help them with the skills I have learned here and be part of the family business.
How Has the Internet Helped You Connect?
I’m really interested to know if anyone else has used the internet this way. Either to find members of their family or to stay connected. I think its amazing how technology allows us to connect and stay connected in many different ways. If you have a similar type of experience please let me know in the comments or by emailing me!
Connecting With Me
My email is dewittn [at] anasmiracle [dot] com. If you are interested in hearing more about my story you should subscribe here or follow me on twitter here.
In the past few years I have met some more people who, like me, were separated from their families during the Salvadoran civil war. It’s great meeting them as we have a lot in common.
One aspect of our adoption that makes it unusual from other types is the fact that we come from a war torn country. Besides dealing with the identity issues that come from being adopted, there are a whole separate set of issues that come up in this situation. I won’t go into those right now, but they can be very difficult as we try to reconcile what happened to us and how it fits into our lives. Lets just say if we are lucky enough to find our families, sometimes that is only the beginning of the journey.
Since these issues can be very complex and hard to deal with we have been working on building a support network for Salvadoran adoptees. We are hoping to form a bigger group of people who have been reunited and those still looking. The idea is that we will be able to help each other through what can be a difficult process.
Not every child that was adopted during the 80’s was separated due to the war, but it’s impossible to tell when someone is starting out. We want to reach out to those looking for family or who have found family in El Salvador. If you know anyone that was adopted from El Salvador during the 80’s that is looking for family maybe you can help by pointing them to this site.
We are planning an event in the near future to bring us all together. More on that soon. If you are interested in hearing more about the network or the upcoming book, you should subscribe to the blog here or follow me on twitter here.
A lot of people have been asking about my mother’s book which is all about my adoption and reunification. In this video I talk about where we are at with the book and what will be in it.
When is it Coming Out?
We are currently looking for a publisher and if we can’t find anything by this winter we are going to self publish. Unfortunately we do not have a date yet but when we do we will post it!
Where Can You Get it?
Rather then trying to send it out to everyone who wants one we are going to get it listed on Amazon or another online retailer.
Whats in the Book?
The book is written from my mother’s point of view and talks about our experiences as an adoptive family as this journey unfolded. It has 6 chapters which cover various aspects of the story. I have had a chance to read the book in its various forms and I think she did a great job. I don’t remember the chapter names exactly but this should give you a taste of what the book is all about.
- Adoption – This is all about my parents’ journey to adopt me in Honduras and the mystery that surrounded the process.
- Rediscovery – This chapter talks about the time period where we first learned of my birth family and how I was separated.
- Reunification – In December of 1997 we went down to meet my birth family for the first time. This chapter is all about that experience.
- My families’ story – This chapter details how my parents joined the revolution in El Salvador and what lead up to my separation.
- My Birth Mother – This is a very special chapter for me. My adoptive mother tries to give my birth mother a voice through interviews she did with various family members.
- The Civil War – The last chapter is all about our story in the context of the larger Civil War. It talks about other children who disappeared from their families.
We are very excited about the book and hope that we can get it out soon. The best way to keep informed as to when it is coming out is to subscribe via RSS, email or follow me on twitter.
Comments, questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below or contact me directly: dewittn [at] anasmiracle.com