ContactAugust 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, M'ijo, mishpocheh | 13 Comments
About a year ago, we hired a social worker in Guatemala to search for P’ito’s first family. We had so many reasons – we wanted them to know that he was healthy and loved, we wanted him to know more about where he came from and to have a tangible connection to his own past, we wanted to know – one way or the other – whether the adoption was ‘clean’ and the truth of the history in the social work report from family court.
After an arduous search in a remote region of the country, the social worker, C., located P’ito’s birthmother and shared the photos and letters we had sent. We learned more about her, got pictures of the small village where she lives, learned that she was so glad to hear that her child was well and thriving.
When we decided to go back to Guatemala for a visit this summer, we contacted C. and asked if we might be able to meet with P’ito’s birthfamily. They took an 11 hour journey to meet him and us. Vast gulfs of language, culture, and class were crossed in our mutual delight over P’ito’s mischevious smile – a smile that begins in the corner of his mouth and reaches his eyes – just like his mother’s.
I know that for many families, the thought of searching is terrifying. They believe the lawyers and the foster families who said, oh she said she doesn’t want contact. They are afraid of the truths that may be exposed. I can’t make promises about anyone’s experience beyond my own. But I can say – look – this is what it can look like.