Update from Panama

Its been a busy past few weeks. I was in Disney for a week with some family and then I went to Minnesota to see my younger brother’s graduation. I was home for two days then I left for CR.

I arrived in Costa Rica last week and spent a few days with my older sister. She had not started her new job yet so we had time to hang out. We were pretty lazy just watching movies and catching up.

I can’t believe her daughter Danny is almost nine. Time really flies. When we first met Eva told everyone that she was pregnant. Its been a lot of fun to watch Danny and every one else grow up over the years.

Monday the 21st I left for Panama.The trip to panama was a little interesting because I missed the morning bus. There is a new bus station since I had been here last and the Taxi driver went to the wrong place. By the time we figured out where the correct place was the bus had already left. The driver was really nice though. We chased after the buss and wait by the side of the road for 30 min hoping we hadn’t missed it. We finally gave up and he took me back to the station to see if there was a later buss.

The taxi driver was nice enough not to charge me for all the time we spent looking for the buss. Lucky there was another bus at 11 so I exchanged my ticket for that one. This bus did not go all the way to David panama where my family lives so my father and sister met me at the board to seek me into the country. 🙂

The next day was my birthday which our family celebrated by getting me a big cake with a picture of a doll that looks just like me. I spent most of the day watching season 2 of house with my little sister.

The last time I was here was a year ago and its amazing to see how much everything has changed in that time. My little sister isn’t so little anymore. She is 15 and in 11th grade. Soon she will be off to college.

The city of David is also getting bigger. They are building new raod and new housing compolexes. About 6th months ago they moved into a new house. Its really nice and not too far away from there old house.

I really enjoy my time here even if its doing nothing and watching lots of episodes of House. I’ll be here for a couple of more day then its back to Costa Rica.

I was able to do a little video interview with my sister about our blog. Hopefully I’ll have that up soon . I’m also planning on interviewing other family members about there experiences.

Well thats it for now. I’m here for 10 more days then back to the US.

My Perfect World – by Nelson/Roberto

A poem by me May 3rd, 1998

My perfect world
I would live with both families
There would be sunny weather everyday
It would be warm
We would live in a place like Costa Rica
There would be no violence
No unnatural death
No bad temptations
It would be the best life ever!
However without this imperfect world
I wouldn’t be writing this poem about
My perfect world

A Little bit of Mama Chila – by Mireya

Mamá Chila is my grandmother, as my cousin Eva said she’s really a loving and caring, Mother and Grandmother. So delicate and small, with wrinkles from all the hard blows she had received in her life. But every time she has known how to rise above it, how to get trough it. She’s a leader, she always has been the center of the family and the motor who move it. So it was hard for me as a granddaughter to see such a powerful women, fall into the deepest of sadness. This happened when her great-grandchild was killed. I’m talking about Renecito, a beautiful, smart and healthy kid, who’s tragic death brought the family together. At the funeral, I saw a different Mamá Chila. She was in a deep thought.

Probably remembering the death of her son René, whom as fate would have it died in similar circumstances. That day I thought that she would become ill and I feared that she could not live with that suffering. The days following, while Renecito’s mother Eugenia, was recovering Mamá Chila was so sad. Deep in thought as if she was looking for an reason it happened. As if she was wanting to find the meaning of it all. Trying to turn back time and erase all the pain. Once Eugenia, was back from the hospital, resting and recovering, Mamá Chila began recovering too. Her vitality, energy and happiness returned. I never really lived with my grandmother before.

The last time was when we traveled to Costa Rica all those years ago to meet my cousin Roberto. This time I got to spend more time with her, so I could get to know her a little more. Once again I saw a strong, tenacious woman, who wakes up at 6 in the morning even on Sundays, and she fall sleep at 7 at night. As I said in the beginning, she is the foundation of our family. We all have a little piece of her inside us. I can´t imagine my life with anyone other than Mamá Chila.

Mila’s Last letter

A letter to her mother, Mama Chila, by Ana Milagro:

September 23, 1981

Dear Mom,

I hope that when you receive this letter you are in good health as well as everybody around you. Mom the person who carries this letter will ask about the kids and how he can help you. I want you to tell him everything that the children need. I will stay here meantime. I don’t know how long but I hope that you can understand my situation. I want to see my children the more than anything but right now I can not.

I could only send you some of the things you asked for because as you know my economical situation is difficult.

On the a different note I want you to explain why you left Nicaragua and what told you those people. Finding out that you are there [in Costa Rica] was for me a great surprise because I don’t know your reasons. Can you tell me where Luis is? I haven’t see him since I was there.

Some people are telling me that Toto is a cry-baby and is drinking too much coffee. Please don’t make them spoiled kids. Remember that they are with you for now but they will be with me again one day and you know how I am with them.

I want to let you know that Haydee is going to move into her own house in October and we are thinking about selling the apartment. Dalila says not to sell it and Tita says sell it to buy a house instead.

My advise to you is to sell it and have the money sent there because here [in El Salvador] the situation is getting worse every day. It [victory] is not going to be as soon as we thought. Maybe it is going to take two years or more and for that reason it is better that you sell the apartment and try to start over there. Even we [in the movement] don’t know how the situation is going to be and if my sisters left the country they wouldn’t have anywhere to go. However if you are there they will have somewhere to go in emergency. Dalila might move in when Haydee leaves because if not we will lose the apartment.

Regarding the power of attorney I advise you to do it there with help of a lawyer. Then send it back to the country [El Salvador]. I don’t advise going in person because it is too dangerous. Passing trough Honduras is to risky. They let you go inside but do not let you go out. Something bad could happen. Everybody who go inside the country is checked and interrogated. I want to tell you that some female cousins of the Haydee’s midwife went there, were taken out of their house, were raped, and killed. For that reason it is better that you do not to go although you I know want to see your daughters. But it would be far instead worse being so close but dead.

Try to solve apartment’s problem staying there [in Costa Rica]. Come to an agreement with them [your daughters]. You can call them by phone or write to them but don’t let them know where I am because that could be risky. Please tell Vilma the same. She should not to write things that could compromise me because every letter coming out of the country is read. The same goes if you call by phone. Be careful because the risk is with your daughters who are there [El Salvador].

Tina called 5 months ago and she said that she had written several times to Vilma but Vilma didn’t answer. Even more she thinks that the letters never were received because of the situation of the country

I explained to her that you were fine and I told her not to worry. I promised I would write to you but I don’t know if her letters were received. Tita says that Raulito of Andreita wants to buy the apartment. He wants to get a loan. We told him that you wanted 8,000 colones for it. I Think that is a very good deal. If you still find someone who wants to buy it, sell it. Please do what I tell you because you know better than anybody that I am always truthful with you. Even if you do nothing with the money but spend it on food that money is still yours.

Lupe of Andreita came to ask for clothing and shoes. She said because you always brought her cloth and shoes she misses you. Andreita also came. She has become a fat woman and asked us to send her regards to you. They still live in “Tierra Blanca” [white land]. Alicia lives en “La Santa Lucia” and she rents a house there with a young men and Yolan. She wasn’t able to get to United States. Isabel of Andreita is pregnant. La Lupe was looking for a job because Roque’s salary is no enough

I sent you photos of the baby. His name is Roberto Alfredo. Tell the kids that he is their little brother. I trust god that they meet him soon. Tell me what Eva says about her father, if she misses him, if she still remembers me. I am fine although I had some problems because of the childbirth but it was nothing serious. The baby looks like Eva.

Nelson/Roberto and an older cousin

I will see if I can send you money monthly so tell me what you need and how much money you spend. I sent you some things inside of the suitcase. If you need the suitcase then take it, if not send it to me because I need it.

The things which I send are

3 panties for Eva
socks for Toto
1 pan and spoons
2 blankets
1 lotion
1 soup
1 talc
1 blouse for you (Dalila sends it)
underwear for you
1 pair of shoes (Tita sends them)
3 towels
2 pair of pants for Rene
2 shirts
1 jacket
other things

Now I must I say goodbye to you.

The daughter who misses you so much,

P.S. Send me Vilma’s phone number. I will see if I can call from time to time in order to see how you are. If Luis should call Vilma’s mother in law, she shouldn’t tell him where you are. She should tell him that you left for the country.

Meeting for the first time – by Nelson/Roberto

I met my birth family for the first time when I was 16 during the Christmas of 1997. It was an incredible experience. One that I will never forget. Looking back on it now, it’s all a blur of memories. Filled with excitement, confusion, love and happiness. When I found them I found my self.

The first thing I remember is sitting on the plane listening to music. I’m always listening to music, especially on long trips. I don’t remember what I was listening to but I think I had really crappy head phones. It always bugs me when I don’t have a decent pair of head phones and for some reason this sticks out in my mind. Even though I had been to a few different countries before I had never been to Central America and I really had no idea what to expect.

We arrived late at night and as we walked thought the airport I remember going down a long flight of steps on our way to customs. I was still listening to music as we waited to pick up our bags. As we stood there a woman approached me and started to ask me in Spanish some questions. She had a piece of paper in her hand and I believe she wanted me to take a survey. Not knowing any Spanish I just stood there and ignored her. I felt bad because I’m sure I came off as being rude but I had no idea what was going on and all I could think about were the people waiting outside.

We finally cleared customs and head out of the airport. There were people everywhere and most of them were cab drives asking if we wanted a taxi. We just kept saying no and moving forward. Then there was a clearing and that’s when I saw them for the first time. In front of me stood an older version of myself and by his side was a little girl of 6 years. Immediately they hugged me, my little sister getting stuck in between me and my father. For a moment I tried to let her out but it was no use, they wouldn’t let go. My father had been waiting 16 years to see me and it felt like he would never let me go ever again.

After that its all a blur of meeting my older brother, older sister, grandmother, stepmother, cousins, aunts and uncles. There must have been 30 people at at the airport waiting to meet us. I have no idea how long we were outside of the airport hugging, crying and trying to communicate with each other. We have a picture from that night. Its blurry and you can’t really see anything. All you can make out are lights streaking across the photo. My mother has said from time to time that this picture describes the emotion of that night and I think she is right. It was just one big blur.

The next thing I remember is piling into a car with my little sister close behind. She sat next to me never letting go. My mother snapped a picture of the two of us. Later we would make a mouse pad from this picture and to this day that mouse pad sits on my desk. As we drove off I remember feeling completely lost, everything looked so different and I had no idea where I was. Even so I felt at home and safe. I looked down at my sister. Here was this little girl who I had never met but I meant the world to her. It was a strange feeling and one that I would feel again and again as I got to know my family.

Video – TV Interview
Part 1: The adoption, a leap of faith and a miracle reunion.
Post – Part 2: The Back Story