Our Family Celebrates 12 Years Since We Were Reunited

If you are unable to see the video click here.

Yesterday, 12 years ago our family was reunited for the first time. It was an incredible experience and to celebrate we did an online video and chat. It was a lot of fun and it was great to hear everyone share their experiences.

For those of you who could not stay for the entire show, or were unable to join us, we recorded the whole thing. It is about 2 hours long but I bookmarked each section to make it easier for people to watch in parts.

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback because we are thinking about doing it again.

Traveling Woes

Its been a busy week here in Panama. I’ve been working with my family to help them set up their computer network. I finally have some free time, so I thought I would write about what had to be one of the worst traveling experiences in my 10 years of going to Central America.

It all started last Friday morning at 4am in Boston. That’s when I had to get up for my 6am flight. I’m not a big fan of early flights, but it helps in case you miss a connection or something. Anyway, I arrived in North Carolina around 8:30. On my way to my next flight I passed one of the monitors only to see that my flight was canceled.

Canceled? I’ve never had a canceled flight before. Epically ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT. When I get to the “would be” gate no one is there. I guess I was supposed to know what to do on my own. I found an agent at another gate and she told me to go to the service desk.

The service desk was moving very slowly…of course. Thankfully when it was my turn the agent tells me they are putting me on a 7pm flight out of Miami. I thought, “This isn’t too bad. At least I will be there tonight.”

I arrived in Miami around 2:30 in the afternoon. I signed up to use the internet and settled in for a 5 hour wait before my next flight. As 7 drew closer they made an announcement that there was something wrong with my plane and that we could not take it. Perfect. However, they did have another plane and they assured us it would only be a 45 minute delay.

We finally start boarding the plane AT 7:45. Around 8:10 we were all on and just sitting there. The captain informed us that we are waiting for catering. This turns into another 20 minute wait. Then it starts to rain and they close down a runway. We finally get out of there around 9.

Oh, and the catering we were waiting all that time for, is just drinks. They didn’t even feed us.

Once we landed I got out only to find an hour and half line for customs in front of me. Luckily they didn’t lose my bags, and my sister was there waiting for me.

We finally got home around 2am my time. By this time I had been up for 22 hours.

I think the only good part of the day was the car ride to my sister’s house. My niece and I were sitting in the back seat falling asleep on each other. I had this feeling like: This is the reason I put up with all the headaches of traveling. To be here in this car with my family. Somehow, in that moment, it all seemed worth it.

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.

A love like no other – by Eva

Since this is a blog about my mother, as a mother I cannot escape to talk about the love a mother has for her children.

Let me tell you, that is not easy at all even though being a mother is the most incredible experience I’ve ever had… At the beginning it was a shock for me. I thought to my self: Oh my Goodness! I have a person inside of me! Tiny and invisible but in the end a person! A new life, a human being!” Then I thought about all the responsibility it means… but then a feeling that I cannot explain came to me and I started to feel so lucky. What a wonderful gift it is being able to give life! I waited for my child and enjoyed the experience. Every day I saw my belly getting bigger in front of the mirror and as months passed by I finally enjoyed not being able to sit as a normal person any more. I use to refer to the baby as a him, but the day I realized it was a HER my heart started to pump and a joy I can’t explain filled me… It was a baby girl! After a few months she started to hit, it is incredible to realize a human being is inside of you and full of life. I used to feel her little feet and knees while she was moving, we both were one.

I spent 24 hours of labor and finally on Tuesday July 21, 1998, Daniela Sofia Sancho Coto was born. So tiny and delicate, she opened her eyes and didn’t cry. I think she was more interested in knowing what was going on instead of crying. This day the journey started.

My daughter is now almost nine and she is the most important person in my life. Please don’t misunderstand, there are a lot of people so important for me but your own child is the most important person on the planet. Once you have children they become your world. Even if you got home so tired and all that you want is to sleep, you still have to be strong enough to listen every detail she is saying, and listen to her talking for an hour with no interruptions… You still have to be able to think about the homework she brings from school, make her dinner and then exercise with her for one hour more. This when you don’t have a motivation to scold her if she has done something wrong…Finally the angel goes to sleep, and when you see her sleeping you know the day has been accomplished, but then you breath deeply and think, the mission hasn’t finished yet…

I have to say that I’ve never understood much about the purpose of being a mother. As we are developing as mother or parents, we are discovering to ourselves as well and it makes our task even more difficult. We have to handcraft this person and decide what is right and wrong for our children while at the same time for ourselves. This brings me to the purpose of this blog and to talk about my mother. If you think about what I just said it is inevitable to think about what our mother did for us. Maybe she regretted not being able to see us grow up everyday, maybe she didn’t enjoy looking at us sleeping, maybe she missed a lot of birthdays, but I have not doubt she loved us with this unconditional love. I can assure you she sacrificed herself for us, and now as a mother I totally understand her decisions. As young people, we use to judge our parents and expect them to be perfect but the truth is that there are not perfect parents, just parents full of love and that was her love, a love like no other…

The meaning of family – by Eva

It was late at night. It seemed that every Christmas flight was delayed on this day. It was the longest waiting I’ve ever had. We didn’t talk too much, we were just there waiting. Time passed and we just looked at each other trying to guess what was going on through each other’s mind.

Suddenly a bunch of people come to the exit door and there he comes … Oh my God! That’s him, that’s Roberto! We don’t need any DNA test in our hands to know its him, he is an exact copy of my father standing there! We didn’t know what to do but go over him and hug him. All of us wanted to hug him and touch him, maybe to see if it was truly happening… I remember my grandma’s face, she wanted to cry but she was trying so hard not to.

After all the hugs and kisses, I looked back and they were there. It was his family. It is his father, his mother and little brother. There were like the definition of family. They were there right behind him supporting him but so stumped. I don’t know what would they were thinking at that moment. I can’t imagine the overwhelming feeling they could have been experiencing then but they were so brave. They just were standing there and letting him to reunite with his family and I mean, they are his family… I believe they may be thinking: “we are going to lose him!”

What a difficult decision to make: keep him with them by not saying a word about his family, or let him to get together with his family with the risk to lose him. Myself I don’t know what I would do being in their place.

Today I wonder: How is that you can become family to people you’ve never met? How is that you can also love these people since the very beginning? How is that you get to know them just to look into their eyes? Would it be because all of this was meant to be? What a perfect plan since everything fits since the beginning even if it didn’t look like. God knew how to make it work. He knew the perfect family for him so he would never be alone. God gave him three amazing people that really loved him, cared about him and raised him as the wonderful guy he is. We love them just knowing they took care of him as their own, but then we got to know how wonderful people they are!

I’ve met them 9 years ago, and I heard Tom says once: “… we met 9 years ago, and it seems like we have met you for the whole life…” and now I think those words are so true… Those words meant a lot to me, because he was kind of saying what he feels about us. Margaret said at the Church back in New Hampshire she was glad to have their daughter (me) and her daughter (Dani) at home for Christmas. Derek also said something like: She is our sister, she is visiting! Today I am glad I had them as well. I’ve never felt so supported and never felt someone who is not my own blood takes care of me so much like they all do. They give me support, they give me confidence, they give me advise and they give me love. All of this on top of the material things. Love is what I truly appreciate and keep in my heart.

I guess I’ll always keep saying to them THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU… They must be tired of hearing it but there are no other words to express what I feel about them and about the love they have to my brother who needed them so much, and for us that just appeared one day looking for our boy. Today I gotta say how beautiful people you are!

I’ve never imagined the possibility to “post” ones feelings anywhere, and now that is what I am doing. This post is so personal and it shows my perception and the meaning of the word FAMILY to me, “not always the family that is our blood but the family that can BECOME your blood”