A Couple of Updates

Our Network Grows

A couple months ago I wrote about how myself and other Salvadoran adoptees are working to build a support network for Salvadoran adoptees looking for their families. As I said in the post, people adopted from El Salvador during the war face a lot more emotional challenges than other adoptees. I know for myself it took several years to really reconcile everything that happened. Our hope is that we be a resource and a support system for each other.

Saturday night we will be having a dinner to welcome some new adoptees to our group. I’m really excited about meeting everyone and continuing to develop the group. I think this is an important step for the group and everybody attending.

We are planning more events in the future, including a conference type event that will focus on some of the human rights violations that took place in El Salvador at that time.

New Facebook Page

I’m a big fan of Facebook. I was the third person at my school to sign up (thanks to Caroline.) It’s a great platform for connecting and interacting with people. I set up a fan page for this site because it’s a great way to connect with everyone interested in this story and the upcoming book. If you are on facebook, we would love to hear from you.


Telling the Story

I’ve been asked to give a talk at Wentworth about story and hows its influenced my life. The talk will be tentatively be at 12pm on October 14th. I realize most people won’t be able to attend, but I am planning to stream the event live. More details about the talk and how you can watch coming soon.

RIP Senator Ted Kennedy – by Derek

This past week, on August 25th (a day with some significance for us to begin with) the world lost a great man, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Others have already given much more fitting eulogies to his accomplishments, but I wanted to put into words my gratitude for what he did for our family.

My brother’s adoption was certainly not normal. The beginning was a very rushed, last minute affair. In order for my parents to go to Honduras to adopt him, they needed their fingerprints cleared by the FBI. That process normally would take weeks (weeks that they didn’t have I might add), but Senator Kennedy pulled some strings and it got done in a few days.

The act in and of itself may not have meant much to the Senator, just helping out his constituents, something he did on a daily basis for over 45 years. But for all of us it means a great deal. Without it, the events that have been detailed in these posts could not have been possible.

Thank you Senator Kennedy for everything you have done for us and others. You will be missed.


How the Internet Helped Me Reunite With My Birth Family


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.

All About My Mother’s Book On My Adoption

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.

  1. Adoption – This is all about my parents’ journey to adopt me in Honduras and the mystery that surrounded the process.
  2. Rediscovery –  This chapter talks about the time period where we first learned of my birth family and how I was separated.
  3. Reunification – In December of 1997 we went down to meet my birth family for the first time. This chapter is all about that experience.
  4. My families’ story – This chapter details how my parents joined the revolution in El Salvador and what lead up to my separation.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Today I Remember My Mother, R.I.P.

Ana MilagroI guess you could say that this is the day that changed my life forever. It was on this day 26 years ago, three days before my first birthday, that Honduran officials stormed the safe house where I was staying with my mother. At the time my family were fighting as revolutionaries in the Salvadorian Civil War.

We don’t know the exact details and probably never will. We think my mother was not in the house when it happened and was able to call my grandmother one last time. We will never know exactly what happened, but what I do know is that this was the last time I was with my mother.

While searching the safe house Honduran officials found me in a back room. I was placed in an orphanage for a year before getting adopted.

It’s a little strange to think that one moment in time completely changed my life forever. Had my mother left the movement like she wanted to, maybe I would have never been lost for 16 years. It’s hard to say what might have happened. But I don’t spend too much time thinking about that any more.

However, for many years I did think about what happened, and this day always was very hard for me. I felt like this was the day that everything went wrong, the day I lost the most important person to me; my mother.

A few years ago that started to change for me, when I realized how fortunate I have been in my life. I started to let her go.

I still think of her on this day, but it’s not the same. I think about what she had to give up. The strength it must have taken to put herself and her family in harm’s way. How impossibly hard it must have been. If I would have done the same. Most of all I think about how the sacrifices she made for me gave me a life and opportunities I might have never had otherwise.

This may seem a bit off topic but I’m a big Harry Potter fan. I suppose that part of me identifies with that character. His mother died for him so that he could do great things. I see that in my own life and its the reason that I try to live everyday to the fullest. I wanted to share a quote that J.K Rowling uses in the final Harry book. To me it says, even though the ones we love are gone, they still live on inside of us.

Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. – William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude

R.I.P. Ana Milgro Escobar de Coto. You will always be with me.

The Moment it All Changed: When I Let Go of My Past

Through most of my life I struggled with the fact that the family I lived with was not my biological family. I am sure this is something that many adopted people go through at some time in their lives. I think much of that came from the fact that when I was younger I knew so little about where I came from and who I was. Your birthday and background are such an important part of your identity and for the first 15 years of my life this was surrounded in mystery.

I think this also stemmed from the fact that I could see my little brother as the child of my parents. He was like them is so many ways and I was so different. Not having people in my life who were like me and who understood me was hard. Then I found my family and I found a piece of myself. However, part of me would not let go of those childhood dreams of seeing my mother again. How are you just supposed to let go of the one thing you wanted all your life?

In the last interview my sister asked at what point did it all start to make sense? When did everything change for me? I can remember the day. The day where I was finally able to let go of my birth mother and accept who I was.

It was May 2003 and I was in Central America visiting Eva. I was talking with her about our biological mother because May 19th is the day that she was taken from us and a day that I always think about her. It used to be a very difficult day for me. For in my mind, this is the day that my world was ripped apart.

I was talking with Eva about this. I was so sad and trying desperately to understand why this happened to us. Then Eva said something that I will never forget. She said that I had a great mother in Margaret and behind her, looking down on us, was our mother.

A few days later I was back in Boston. I think I was still feeling a little down. When I got home Margaret had something for me. It was a letter she had sent me while I was in school. The letter was part of something the school was doing and was supposed to be posted somewhere in school. For whatever reason they received the letter too late and ended up sending it back home.

I opened it up and started to read. The letter said how proud she was of me and what a joy it was to raise both Derek and myself. On the back she wrote “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Do you remember I used to sing that to you when you were little?”

I broke down. I remembered very clearly when she used to sing that song. I remembered all the difficult times we had. But most of all I remembered how she loved and cared for me over the years. How both my adoptive mother and father gave me so much when I was little. How they stood by me when I struggled to understand who I was and what had happened to me. How they always believed in me. How they taught me right from wrong and so many other valuable life lessons.

It was exactly what I needed to hear. My sister was right. Behind my mother was…my mother. I couldn’t believe it. This letter I was supposed to receive during school got sent back but arrived when I was away, so I ended up reading it just when i needed it the most. I guess you might call it fate, but from that moment on things got easier. I felt a sense of peace about the situation that I had not felt before.

Looking back years later I can appreciate so much more what my adoptive family was able to give me. Perhaps my longings for growing up with my birth family came from my youthful ignorance. Or maybe it was easier for me to dream of my perfect family then face the difficulties that every family deals with. Whatever it was, I know now how fortunate I was to have them. After getting to know my biological family more, I see how they struggle with the love and understanding that was given to me unconditionally. How they have a hard time looking past each other’s short comings and just love each other for who they are. What I realize now, is that the perfect family I longed for in my youth, I had all along. Not the family that was my blood but the family that became my blood.