10 Years Since We First Met

It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since we first met. Sometimes people say “it feels like just yesterday.” For me it feels like a lifetime. It seems like so long ago that I walked out of the airport into the arms of my father and sister. I don’t think that’s a bad thing either. I have so many good memories since then that I can hardly believe it was only ten years ago.

People sometimes ask “where do you see yourself in ten years?” Well I can tell you that 10 years ago I would have never guessed this. I would have never guessed I would be sitting in Panama in front of the Christmas tree. I never would have guessed I would be working with my dad and cousin. I never would have guessed I would have such wonderful brothers and sisters to spend the holidays with. I never would have guessed that my mother would be writing about my story, or that people would want to hear me talk about it.

I’m trying to come up with something else meaningful to say about everything that happened and I can’t. I really wanted to write something about how incredible these past years have been and how they have affected my life. I also wanted to talk about what a great family I have, both here and in America. Maybe it’s just too hard to sum up 10 years of memories in a couple paragraphs. I’m at a loss for words. Perhaps I shouldn’t even try and just instead enjoy being here with my family.

All I can say for sure is that I am so lucky to have found these incredible people and to be a part of their lives. I know they feel the same way. I love all of you and you all mean so much to me. Happy 10 years.

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.

Memories – by Nelson/Roberto

I’m running as fast as I can. I stop short at the gate fence. In a few quick moves, I jump up, grab the top, swing my legs over and jump down on the other side. I keep running only to be greeted buy the dog. Before he can get near me I duck into the door way to my left. Jumping over some paint cans I turn sharply to the right and hid behind some boxes. I’m out of breath but I try not to make a sound.

I stay here for a minuet. I don’t hear anything. Slowly I creep back into the hall way and look around. Poking my head into the next room Ernesto looks up at me and laughs.

“What are you doing?”

“Shhh..she’ll hear me” As soon as I say it I hear screaming coming from the next room.

I turn to run again but the stupid dog followed me into the room and is in my way. Great no where to go. I turn, knowing whats coming next.

“I GOT YOU!!” My little sister screams as she grabs my shirt. I try to loosen her grip and tell her she is stretching the shirt. No good. Shes got me and she is NOT letting go.

Giving I pick her up in my arms and we head back to the house to get something to drink.

I often think back to those days when she was a little kid and we would run around the house chasing each other. It was so much fun. I have so many memories.

There is a gate outside of my father’s house in panama. The entrance had a nice little ledge just big enough for someone to sit. I use to picker up on my shoulder and put her on the ledge when she was being “bad.” She would laugh trying to figure out how to get down.

Then there was the time I broke her bed. I picked up and pretending to be a wrestler dropped her on the bed. It completely fell apart. She was fine but started to cry when she saw her bed in pieces. We were able to fix it right up and minuets later she was grabbing on to my shirt again like nothing every happened.

I’m so glad that I have been able to be a part of her growing up. She is a lot older now and has become a wonderful young lady. I still remember the little girl who ran up to me that first night at the airport. She will always be my little sister.

Meeting my sister and growing up with her has been one of the best parts of this entire experience. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

I know how much she looks up to me and that is where I get so much of my motivation. Her pictures hangs on my wall and I always look it when I am feeling down.

Many families are spread all over the world and don’t get to see each other as much as they would like. Thats not an option for me. I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we’ll always have memories to look back on.

The men of my life and the baby girl of my heart – by Eva

There are three men that share my heart, and one beautiful baby girl that has a half.

One of the men is so quiet, nice and caring boy. I remember I loved him and took care of him like a treasure. I still keep in my mind the days we used to walk hanging hands, how small and nice he was. I saw him grow up, becoming an incredible boy. His heart is one of the biggest in the earth, and he’s got a shine that never fades away. Even though his life was hard, he is now a wonderful man, and I gotta say I still love him as the first day I met him, and I am so proud of what he has accomplished though all these years. He’s been so smart at business. He gives his best in every single project. He hasn’t made to many friends, but everyone who knows him loves him as well.

The other men I never saw him grow up, but the day I met him it was a gift from God. Part of my life was returned to me and I feel now I am complete. After missing him for so long he came to me as a wonderful boy. It was incredible to get along as if we spent the whole life together. No one else understands me so well, no one else knows me as he does. He is so smart, so good. If you look into his eyes you can see how much love he has to give, and when he can, he does not hesitate. So friendly, so nice, he is quite a gentlemen. Everybody loves him since he is not selfish and wants to help any time he can. A Wonderful friend, he is loyal, and always cares about others. He’s been always special because God give him a heart that never learned to hate.

The third man is the youngest. He was so small when I met him, so quite and shy, but he couldn’t help it and now he is one of the three men that drives me crazy and owns my heart. He was the perfect company for Roberto for so many years. There are so close and always support to each other. God gave Roberto someone to share childhood, because God knew it is not good to grow up alone. He is crazy about turtles, and no one can tell why is this, but after meeting one of them in person now I understand his fascination about this wonderful animal. Nowadays he is a handsome boy, a lot more talkative now and his quote for me is: “Be adventurous!”

The baby girl that is left keeps the half of my heart. Maybe she does not know what I feel about her, but the day I saw her for the first time I was really happy. I met a cute baby and immediately she opened her arms to me. She couldn’t walk and I remember her first step. She was my baby, I remember changing her pampers and giving her a bath. I remember her mom dressing her like a princess, and a princess she was. She was a really happy child, always hugging and expressing her feelings, her heart is huge and she has a lot of love to share. She is a young lady and the nicest girl I’ve ever met. She is my love, my treasure. She means a lot to me. I wish I could give her more love and time but unfortunately it couldn’t be. Even though I know she loves me and admires me, but what she doesn’t know is that I admire her the most.

And in these few words there they are. Those are my siblings. Each of them are different, but are so a like at the same time. Not every day I can say that but by having them my life is complete. No matter the distance they truly own my heart…

Me and my siblingsMe and My SiblingsMe and My Siblings

Leaving Tomorrow – by Nelson/Roberto

June 06

Where’d you go?
I miss you so,
Seems like it’s been forever,
That you’ve been gone.
Where’d you go?
I miss you so,
Seems like it’s been forever,
That you’ve been gone,
Please come back home…

Its about 10 or 11 at night and I’m laying in bed listening to Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go?” Estefany is laying next to me sharing the earphones. She is crying softly. I hate to see my sister cry. She is almost 15 and she still cries every time I leave. I wish I could stay. I wish I could spend more time with her and with everyone else. This time it even harder to say goodbye because I know I won’t be back for maybe a year.

Sometimes I feel like I am always saying goodbye, that I am always missing someone. I wondering why does it have to be like this? Why must I always be leaving tomorrow? I don’t want to. Maybe its because we missed so much already and I don’t want to miss anymore. Maybe its because life seams so much simpler here. Part of me just wants to stay but the other parts knows this is not my place. How are you supposed to choose between the ones you love? I know its hard on them as well.

Its the next morning and we are standing at the bus station. I’ve loaded my bag onto the bus. I’m almost already to head back to Costa Rica and soon after back to he US. My father sister and stepmother are here to see me off. I said goodbye to my brother this morning before he started working. My father holds me tight not wanting to let go, not wanting the moment to end. I know the feeling well.

As the bus pulls away I look back, watching them for as long as I can. As much as I hate sitting, here I know I’ll be back. Nothing is going to keep me away.

They Never Forgot – by Nelson/Roberto

2001 was a really hard year for me. I had finished my first year and half in college and hadn’t done very well. Every course I took I was on the verge of failing even though I tried very hard in some of my classes it just wasn’t enough. I decided to transfer schools because I just couldn’t keep up. I felt like I was failing out. I had pledged in a fraternity and while it probably didn’t help academically it was my saving grace socially. I had lost touch with everything I liked to do. I was missing Carolina, my love interest all the time, and I just wanted to go see her again. Our relationship was a little…dysfunctional to say the least and it was really getting to me. Not only did she live in another country but she had a boyfriend. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. Needless to say it was not an easy time for me.

I went down to panama as usual for Christmas. I was really down and my family could tell. They tried to cheer me up as best they could but nothing really worked.

One night I was sitting outside looking at the star and my stepmother Miriam came to talk with me. We talked about some of the stuff we I was going through. Between her broken English and my broken Spanish I’m surprised we talked about as much as we did. She sat there dictionary in hand and comforted me as best she could.

I’m not exactly sure what we were talking about but I remember her telling me how much my family cared for me. She said Eva, Toto and Estefany grew up knowing about their brother who had been lost. Luis had learned through some friends that I had been adopted to America. He had no idea where in America but he was saving money to come look for me. Those words cut right through me and I broke down…they never forgot about me. Even though I was lost for 15 years they never forgot. I was completely overwhelmed by that.

I’m not sure why it meant so much to me and why it still does. Maybe it has to do with being adopted. One question that I think every adopted child asks him or her self at some point is why was I given up? Even if the situation was for the best you can’t help but feel like you were forgotten. So hearing those words was like an answer of my payers or something. I have no way of describing it.

Even now as I sit here reading my sister post about how my grandmother never stopped looking for me I’m overwhelmed by a feeling I can only describe as joy. However that does not even come close to the feelings that I have. To never be forgotten. There are no words. I have to be one of the luckiest people in the world. So many people are neglected and forgotten about. Not only did I have a wonderful family here in America but I also had a family in Central America that never stopped thinking about me, never stopped looking, and never stopped caring.

No matter how lost I was to them or even to myself they never EVER forgot about me…