Here is an interview I did with my older sister Eva looking back over the past 10 years. I am planning to do some more interviews with other family members. Keep an eye out for those!
Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? Have you ever thought about the mission you have and the reason why you are here today?
Day by day I live thinking about the reasons that brought me here where I am. Day by day I try to think what makes me be the woman I am nowadays. Sometimes I go back long time ago and start thinking about everything what had happened to me and my family, and sometimes I just happen to think about what is coming next…
Whatever I think gets me to one point: God’s will, and watching today at the video of the interview my brother made, makes me be even surer about that. What a wonderful opportunity this interview was to tell others the story.
But also I was thinking to myself, what a great opportunity we had to meet Amanda, Mr. and Mrs. Gross and Cristina that nice Saturday here in Costa Rica. I have to say at the beginning I thought they seem to be very nice people, but then as long as I got to know them I thought to myself they happen to be not only nice people but really wonderful people. As the conversation went on, I found they are a wonderful family and I was so glad to get to know them. Once we went for lunch somehow we started to talk about our story very naturally, one thing brought to another and then we found ourselves talking about what had happened to our family. And there we were, my brother trying to tell the story in a logical way so they could understand, and me, trying to explain with my lack of English how does it feel to have him back. Someway words just went out and it was really nice to see them immerse in it and trying to understand.
After that the idea of the interview came, and it was done….
Telling the story not only identify ourselves as the persons we are, but also it goes further than that. And today watching at the video I thought how the testimony is allowed to be spread out for more people. And then I wonder again: is that one of our purposes in life? We have to talk about what happened to us, and point the good in it, our story is filled of sad episodes but also it is flowed of happiness and hope, and miracles and blessings!
How wonderful is to tell that in the end, there was something for my brother and I that made us even closer; I guess the story touched hearts.
How wonderful is God who speaks and works in so many ways. There is always a message to give, a message to receive and a message to share! Maybe that is one of our missions now, to touch as much hearts as we can…
Thank you Amanda, Mr. and Mrs. Gross! I am very happy that we get to know you all that beautiful Saturday, and I am sure that was not just a matter of luck, because you know…God is working around…
I’ve been waiting for this Friday since I knew he was coming. I wake up early in the morning trying so hard to be awake and start up my day, I have to be ready for work today, but I am so exited cause it is not a normal day for me, reason why I look for a nice dress and try to make myself look a little nicer. It feels like you are going to meet someone that you’ve been really looking forward to meet. So I make it to work and finally get there, start my day as usual but somehow is not the same, then my phone rings and I pick up: “Hey there!, can you hear me?” … my heart pumps up! That’s him…” Hey guess what? My flight was canceled and now I will be delayed, I will be there at 7pm your time…” And I think to my self: “Great! I really want him to be here and they cancel the flight! Any way, waiting for tonight is not a big deal” so I replay: “ Don’t worry I will be there!” and the conversation ends with the same words as usual: “ OK, love ya! Bye…”
The day seems to be slower than usual but it turned to be longer! Another call saying he will be arriving even later! I can’t believe it! Somehow it makes me think about the day we fist met, there was no longer day than that day, but tonight waiting at the airport for almost 3 hours is getting close.
Finally he made it! Looking at him walking through the gates carrying a lot of suitcases and a huge box made me think to my self: “He is definitely part of the family, right?” and the next step: hugs and kisses, welcomes and lots of love! I have him here…
Every time he comes is a really nice experience, no matter my responsibilities, the job I have to perform and the time I may not share with him, he is here! These days I wish I could be 4 persons at once, but all the effort is good while we have our singular chats at night, we just can’t go to sleep, we gotta talk! Sharing our life and feelings, always keeps us close, and that’s our mission in life: to be there for each other.
Okay, so Nelson/Roberto has been getting on my case to actually contribute here. I promised I would in January, but then I got into my last semester of college and things were crazy and hectic. But I digress. For those who don’t know me, my name is Derek, and I am Nelson’s brother. My biological parents are his adoptive parents. I was born on May 30, 1985, two years to the day after my parents took him from the orphanage in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
For this post I’ll deal with the beginning, at least the beginning for me. Obviously I knew from early on that Nelson was ‘different’ and my parents explained to him and I as best they could about who he was and what they knew, which wasn’t much. At that age, it doesn’t really matter. Family is family. Nelson was and is my brother in every meaning of the word. He has always looked out for me and I knew that he cared. We were very close, even though he was four years older than me.
My brother has already written about the night when he found out that he had family looking for him, so I won’t repeat the basic events. I don’t remember any other time, before or since, that my parents sounded so serious when they mentioned that they needed to talk with us after dinner. Right now I’m sitting no more than thirty feet from where I was that night, and I can still remember the look on my their faces and on my brother’s. Obviously, when you hear those words as a kid, you think about divorce and my parents were quick to explain that that was not the reason for this talk. In hindsight, Nelson is right to say that it didn’t make sense, but as I will reiterate later, the first thoughts of a 12 year-old on anything are not always rational.
As they explained the situation, I probably must have turned as white as a sheet, which is impressive for me considering my normal pallor. My first thought was that now that Nelson’s real family had found him, they would want him to live with them and I would never see him again. Looking back, it sounds silly, but I really felt scared for a bit that I would lose my brother forever.
Pretty soon, it will have been ten years since that night and instead of losing a brother, I’ve gained an entire second family. I can understand the apprehension that somebody might feel in this situation. I experienced a lot of new things and it wasn’t always easy, but I’m glad now that it happened. Everyone has been so welcoming, from the very first letters that our parents read to us that night through all of the visits and the other correspondence I have never once felt like an outsider, always like a member of the family. That’s enough for now, I’ll relate some of my other thoughts later.
The other week I wrote about the time I spent in the orphanage in Honduras. In that post I mentioned that a picture was taken of me that was made it into the newspaper. While we don’t have the orginal copy of the newspaper I was able to scan the two photo copies we have.
The funny thing about this picture is that you can tell right away its me. My mom points out even my hair looks the same.
While surfing the web this week, looking for other blogs about El Salvador I came a across the A Different View of a Good Life blog. The author meg has spent some time living in El Salvador and she writes about her accounts there. In this post she talk about the violence in El Salvador.
El Salvador has a culture of violence and trauma reinforced by a history of a brutal civil war; a war that ended with some peace accords that basically lied to the people by saying things were going to change. It is true, things did change. Many say that the poverty rate is worse now than when it was in the war. Imagine that, the people have gotten poorer? The rich politicians have brought in their neoliberal politics and trade agreements (CAFTA) to benefit their friends in corporations. And the people are slowly losing their right to march and protest the injustice going on in their country because as the government likes to say, the protests of the left are terrorist acts, so now there is new terrorist legislation.
Then there are the gangs. The gangs of El Salvador originated in the US, but with the slick deportation process of the US government, El Salvador found a new problem to deal with. The gangs are neither leftist or rightist, but Tony Saca likes to think the gangs are all leftist (even if Arena does pinta y pega with gang members during the elections). And so, with the easy solutions of the Arena government, all the youth of El Salvador are a target. So much for treasuring your future!
So when you couple a history of violence with a people in growing need for food, shelter and jobs, youth who are being targeted, gang members who target everyone (especially busses), and the slow political process that takes human rights away one by one, one might find a breading ground for a whole mess of effects brought on by this culture. One such effect is widespread violence.
A lot goes on in this country every day. Busses are attacked and burned if they didn’t pay the gang fare. Patrons of busses are robbed or killed every day. In the night there are shootings, and we have a homicide rate that is through the roof. Occasionally there are protests, but the last one turned into a police instigated riot with helicopters equipped with gunmen.
A few months ago one of my cousins almost died her when her husband shot her and killed their baby son. This was very hard on my grandmother and it took her a while to get over it. Maybe a year before another cousins on my fathers side died in a car jacking incident.
I wasn’t close to either of them but in a way this is so depressing to me. I mean my family lost so much in this war. My mother gave her life and my father lost his home, his wife and his son for 16 years. For what? so that the country could become even poorer?
He has been through some very hard times in his life and you can see how the war has affected him. I would hate for him to find out it was all for nothing…