Phone Call – By Nelson/Roberto

May 1982

Shortly after Eva saw our mother for the last time, my mother urged my grandmother to take the children and move to Costa Rica where they would be safer. In 1980, Mama Chila packed up the family to live with my aunt Vilma who had been in Costa Rica since 1978. Mama Chila brought with her Vilma’s two children Evelyn and Jacqueline. As well as Ana’s two children Eva and Ernesto. I had not been born yet and our father Luis was in Cuba recovering from the bullet wound.

Earlier that year, Vilma had married a man named Eduardo who was the son of her employer. It was not the best arrangement since Eduardo did not treat Vilma well and occasionally threatened to deport her is she ever left him. Mama Chila and Vilma both worked during the day to provide for the children. Eduardo who was not as ambitious and stayed around the house most of the day.

They didn’t hear much from Luis or Ana. Because of the war it was very hard to send messages. Ana wrote occasionally and the messages where usually delved in person by someone who was involved with the revolution. It had been a few months since Ana had last written. Then one day something weird happened. They received a phone call. Ana never called because it was much to dangerous. Mama Chila and Vilma were both out but Eduardo took the call.

Eduardo sits at home watching TV. Its about 3:30 in the afternoon. My aunt Vilma and grandmother Mama Chila have not come home from work yet. Eduardo lazily flips through the channels waiting for the two of them to come so he can eat. Just then the phone rings. He glances over at it wondering if he should bother picking it up. Reluctantly he stands and wonders over to the phone.


“Hello…is this Eduardo?” an agitated voice replies on the other side.

A little surprised by tone of her voice he replies “Yes…who is this?”

“Its Vilma’s sister Mila” She says nervously

“Mila! How are you? We haven’t herd from you in so lo…”

Ana interrupts him “Eduardo I’m sorry but I don’t have much time. Is my mother there its really important.”

Slightly annoyed by being cut off he replies “No they haven’t returned home from work yet but they should be home soon. You should call back later.”

“No there is no time can you give her a message” She is even more nervous now as someone is yelling in the background.

“Yes of course, whats wrong?” Eduardo questions.

“They found us I don’t know how.” she sounds scared now “I have to go. Tell mama chila I love her and…” she pauses slightly “tell her to take care of my kids…”

The phone clicks and Eduardo not knowing what to make of this stands for a second listening to the dial tone. He hangs up the phone, puzzled by what just happened and sits back down to watch TV.

Sometimes I wonder what it must have taken to make that phone call. She must have known when she made the call she would never see her children again. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

That would be the last thing we ever herd from Ana. We never knew what happened to her after that and most likely we never will.

Tip of my tongue – by Nelson/Roberto

June 1998

“Roberto, levanate” my father says as he nudges me awake.

Its 5:30 in the morning and its still dark out. My flight home leaves in a few hours so I have to wake up and get ready. Sleepily I rub my eyes, yawn and head towards the kitchen. I’m greeted by Gerardo and his wife who promptly start asking me about breakfast. Being so early and my due to the little Spanish I know, all I can do is stair blankly. Picking up on this they try again.

“Cerial?” Gerardo questions. I nod. “Pan…bread?”

“Si” say while fighting back another yawn.

My father says something. He mentions Eva. I perk up a little. I haven’t seen her since December when we first met. I think he says that her and Roy will be at the airport.

Time to get ready. I showered and pack up and drag my bags out to the car. The sun is up now and the air is still cool but it’s getting warmer.

Its about a 30 minuet drive to the airport so I take out my CD player. I’m always listening to music whenever I travel. This time its The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life after death album. As we drive a long I start to think about camp and how I will be there in two days. “You must be crazy” I think to my self. I’m traveling over 3,000 miles in 4 days. Yesterday morning I was in panama and spent the day in a buss on there way to Costa Rica. Later today I will be back in Boston. Tomorrow I will be packing for camp and Sunday Will be my first day as a Counselor In Training.

Maybe I shouldn’t have missed the week of staff training…oh well nothing I can do now. What could possibly go wrong anyway?

We’re here. I jump out of the van and look around…no Eva yet. We unload my luggage and find a place to sit. It is a beautiful day. The warm air is intoxicating and makes me not want to leave. But then I remember its summer back home too and we’ll probably have more weather like this.

Just then a car pulls up. Its Eva! not a moment too soon either, because its almost time to check in. We all hug and Roy starts chatting away with my dad and Gerardo.

Out of the corner of my eye, I glance at my sister timidly. She must have seen me because she takes my hand and places it on her stomach. She smiles and says something in the best Spanglish she can muster. I’m not really listening, all I can think of how weird this pregnancy thing is. My sister is the first person I can remember that’s been pregnant. She is due any day now and her stomach is huge. I move my hand long her brown dress. No kicks, I’m a little disappointed.

I pull my hand back and look up at her. She smiles knowingly. I smile back thinking how grown up and mature she looks. There is something about her, something familiar in those eyes.

Its time to go now. We kiss, hug and say goodbye. I want to tell her something but I don’t know what. Its like the words are there, on the tip of my tongue but I don’t know how to say them. So I just stood there, looking at her. Someone I want to know but can’t. It wouldn’t be until three years later that I would realize what I saw that day.

The Orphanage – By Nelson Roberto

When the gunfire stops a women lays dead face down in the door way. Two men have been shot as well. They lie slumped over rifles by there side. As the police go through the house I’m found crying in my crib. Next to me are two other girls. Social services is called in to deal with us. As I’m being as taken away a news paper photographer stops us to take a picture. One police officer is holding me while the male officer next her tries to get me to smile. It works. My face lights up in a happy little smile completely unaware of what has just happened and what is to come.

I’m taken to a private orphanage in Tegucigalpa Honduras. This will be my home for the next year. I will spend most of my days in a my crib straiting out of the window on the third floor of this clay building. I won’t learn how to walk or speak very well. I won’t eat very well either. But I will be fed.

During this time a notice is put into the paper asking anyone who might be missing a child to come forward and claim me. No one does, so six months after I arrive I am legally put up for adoption. I will wait another six month before I meet my parents.

It’s May 1980 and I have just turned two. My adoptive parents arrived in the country a few weeks earlier. Today we will meet for the first time.

My soon to be dad wakes up early and staring making coffee. My soon to be mom lays in bed a few more minuets for before joining him. They are tired from a long night of nervous sleep.

“What do you think he will looks like?”
“We will know very soon.” My mother replies.

They shower and dress quick anticipating what is to come.

My dad paces nervously waiting for the social worker to arrive. “Why do you think they wouldn’t let any picture be taken of him? Do you think might be something wrong with him that they don’t want us to know about?”

“I don’t know hunny we will see soon enough.”

“Where are they? They should have been here by now.” my dad says anxiously

“They will come try to relax” my mom replies trying to hide her own anxiety.

“I’m going to call to make sure” My dad hurries off to make the call. He return shortly. “She’s not home.” He reports disappointedly

Then the door bell rings. Finally the social worker has come to take them to the orphanage.

As they arrive they are greeted by one of the staff members. Not wasting any time my dad asks. “What is he like?”

“Hes a sweet little boy but he will cry and cry if he is not fed first.” She answers shaking her head

“Oh?” my mom inquires.

“Don’t worry hes really nice” she replies quickly “but he doesn’t talk much. He only knows how to say agua. That means water and he says it when hes hungry or when he needs anything else.”

As they walk through the rooms filled with cribs, some of the children poke their heads up to see the visitors.

“I wonder if we could adopt more than one.” My dad wonders aloud.

“Here we are.” The staff member stops at the last crib on the third floor. “Oh and one more thing…” she says as a smile crosses her face “he really loves Coke.”

This is the moment my had parents been waiting for. As they approach the crib they see me lying down in a cloth diaper and an old t-shirt. I look up with a blank expression on my face not knowing what to expect.

My mom hands me a Paddington bear with a blue raincoat and red hat. I play with it curiously. Its the first stuffed animal I’ve ever had. They pick me up and hold me. I’m not sure what to make of this. They takes turns holding me and playing my with long curly brown hair. But now they must leave to finalize the adoption.

They put me back in the crib and say good bye. They will be back for me tomorrow once it is official. As they drive away I watch from my window, holding my Paddington close, wondering who are these people and if I’ll ever see them again.

Part 1: The adoption, a leap of faith and a miracle reunion. – Nelson/Roberto

I was adopted from an orphanage in Honduras in 1983. My adoptive parents had just started the adoption process and were probably about a year away from getting a child. Then one night they got a phone call around 9:00pm saying that there was a child available for them however there was no picture, no background information and they would have until 3:00pm the next day to decided. I don’t think this ever happens in adoption cases.

Thankfully, after a long night with not much sleep, they decided to adopt. They were living in the Boston area and had to rush to get everything ready before leaving for Honduras. It was the beginning of April and they had to be down in Central America by May. As they were getting ready to leave they found out that they would need FBI clearance in order to travel to Honduras. This normally takes 4 or 5 weeks and they only had one. To their surprise someone pulled some strings for them and Senator Kerry’s office was able to get them clearance in 2 days.

They flew down to Honduras where they were provided with a place to stay and a lawyer to help them with all the paper work. Again, this never happens. As the adoption went on the people involved where very hush hush and wouldn’t tell my parents anything. They mentioned something about a gunfight but wouldn’t say why I was up for adoption or why they were trying to get me out of the country so fast. My adoptive father speculated that I was illegitimate sun of the president or something like that. They did learn that our Mystery Politician was overseeing the adoption and this explained where all the political help was coming from.

They finished the adoption and took be back to the US with them. The judge who oversaw my case required that my father mail her updates every 6 months. My father diligently sent letters for almost 2 years. While talking to another parent about there experience he learned that these updates were not part of the normal adoption process and he promptly stopped. This seamed to the make the whole adoption that much weirder.

I grew up knowing that I was adopted (My parents are white and they always told me I was.) But they couldn’t tell me who my parents were or even when I was born. This was very hard for me growing up since it meant it would be next to impossible to find my birth family. My Adopted father had this newspaper article that someone had gotten for us. The article had a picture of a man who had been killed around the time that I went into the orphanage. As I was growing up he would look at the picture and try to see if there was any resemblance between us.

Then one day the impossible happened. My parents got another phone call at night in the summer of 97. A man called from an organization called Probusqueda that looked for lost children in El Salvador. It turned out I had been born there not Honduras and my birth family had been looking for me for 4 years. My parents told me soon after when I got home from summer camp. It was a huge shock for all of us.

The organization sent us pictures and letters from them written to the lost child Roberto(that’s me.) After a blood test to confirm that hey were indeed my family we started to make arrangements to fly down. In truth they really didn’t need to do the blood test. I look exactly like my birth father and a lot like my older brother.

That Christmas we flew down to meet them the for the first time. My adopted parent were nervous that I would want to stay with my birth family but that never really crossed my mind. Since then I have been down about twice a year to visit them and we have become one big family. Its been truly an amazing and I’m so lucky to have had such wonderful adoptive parents who supported me all these years and when I went to meet my birth family.

Part 2: My Origins, how I was separated from my family.

Part 2: My origins, how I was separated – by Nelson/Roberto

With the introduction of my birth family came the information of my past and the story of my life.

My story begins even before I was born. My birth father and mother where around 20. My father had been influenced by high school teachers to join the revolutionary movement in El Salvador. Soon after he began his work he met my other Ana Milgro Escobar. Despite objections from her family she joined the movement as well. They were married shortly after in a ceremony of arms.

The group they were a part of the was called the FPL which was one of the sub groups that made up the FLMN. My father was a body guard to the head of the FPL while my mother worked to coordinate the different cells. (In the war people worked in smaller groups called cells. If one cell was captured it did not know enough to give away any information.) This was a very important potion for my mother who had just turned 20.

Later that year, my father was in a gunfight somewhere in the mountains of El Salvador. He was shot inches away from his heart. He spend 3 long days in hiding barely hanging on to life. If one of his brothers had not given him blood he would have surely died.

He was taken to Nicaragua for surgery. He managed to survive the operation but needed a second one to remove the bullet. This required him to go to Cuba. After four months in Cuba he had not gotten the operation and returned to Nicaragua to see my mother. At this point, my brother and sister had been sent to live in Costa Rica with my Grandmother. It was around this time that I was born. My mother and I lived in El Salvador for three month before it became unsafe to live there anymore.

My mother was supposed to meet up with my father in Costa Rica, but it never happened. She was reassigned on a new mission. She and two other men kidnapped a businessman in Honduras. We lived in a safe house for a few months, but the Honduran government found out where she was living. They stormed the house and killed my mother and the two men. This was three days before my first birthday. The police found me in a back room with two other little girls.

They did not know what to do with us so we were put in an orphanage. I stayed there for a whole year before I was adopted. They put sever notices in the paper saying that if any was missing children or knew the who we were they should come forward and claim us. No one came forward and after a year in the orphanage I was adopted.

Around this time my birth father had found out that his wife had been killed and his son was missing. He was furious at certain people within the FPL because they would not let him look for me or give him any information. Disillusioned he left the revolution and warned around Central America. He ended up in Panama where he worked 2 jobs only to earn $20 in a month. One of these jobs was doing silk screening. Think that he could do that on his own he set off to make a better life. He remarried and was able to create a stable business for him and his family.

Through a friend he learned that I had been adopted to a family in America. He began thinking about coming to America to look for me. However he had no idea where I lived so it would be impossible to find me.

In 1992 my grandmother began her search to find me. It took her a year to find an organization that would help her. An organization called Probusqueda spent four more years going though newspapers and whatever government documents they could get their hands on trying to find me. They finally completed their research in 1997 after doing an Internet search to find our phone number. We where contacted by a man working for the Physicians for Human Rights and given a copy of all their findings. After a blood test confirmed that they were my family we made arrangements to meet them during Christmas.

Part 1: The adoption, a leap of faith and a miracle reunion.

The fight for a cause (Ernesto’s Introduction)

Have u ever fought for a cause? No matter what it be? Maybe to help people maybe or to save animals or something else. Well those peoples who fight for a cause are the secret heroes of the world. These kinds of people are kind a strong. They like to help and want to change the way that the world works for others.

No matter if they will make a difference or not they try and they try. Against all odds no matter what they might risk or lose they keep fallowing those strong feelings. So this is something I wont to forget about my mom Ana Milagro Escobar. She had strong feelings that moved her to pick up arms and fight for others, fight for her cause, fight to try to change her word, and fight to give us a better life. That is one thing that made her such a strong women and that I would never forget about.

I too would like to help others as she did and helping others was indeed her cause. Even though they didn’t change the world, they got a chance to make things better for us, a chance to try and make a better world, and a chance to give us the opportunity they never had. That means a lot to us.

So the cause of this blog to remember that strong woman who change the things for us, who made this miracle become true. I could never forget about all the love she gave us. No matter the situation she stayed true. I’m so proud of this woman, who was my mom.

I love you mom.