August 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, M'ijo, mishpocheh | 13 Comments

Pili & P’ito’s Birthmom, holding hands

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.


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  1. Warm fuzzies!!! What a beautiful picture.

  2. Thank you for sharing this photo and story. I’m so glad P’ito is going to have that part of his story and a connection to his first family. More love is such a good thing.

  3. Well I am certainly crying now! That is a beautiful image and an amazing story. I hope we are as lucky to find EJ’s birthmother as well as her siblings in Guatemala and the US. I have apprehensions/worries of course, but I know the benefits of searching far outweigh them! Thank you SO much for sharing your story!!

  4. Wow, this brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful gift for P’ito as he grows older, to know his birth mom knows he is well and happy. (and cute as all get-out!)

  5. Oh damn, this has thrown me right into a DTK episode. No, not DKA, but “drench the keyboard”.
    What a beautiful, selfless gift you gave. Totally cool.

  6. Such an amazing opportunity for you all!

  7. Great photo and post.

  8. I am so touched by your family’s experience. What a wonderful trip you’ve all made, and what a beautiful and touching picture. I am so glad that you were able to find them and share your son’s life together in that way.

  9. That’s great, Art!
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. How beautiful!!!! We asked to meet V’s birth mom and weren’t able to, but she does know about us and I send updates to people who can get her the info. How amazing and beautiful that picture, and what it represents, is.

  11. oh wow. I have chills. so so so wonderful and beautiful. What a lucky boy to have come from so much love and to be raised with so much love.

  12. Hearing about this a couple weeks ago gave me another prod to circumvent our disorganized and questionable agency and get our lawyer to contact Z’s birthmom. The lawyer’s sent off a letter, last week, to the address we have from 2.5 years ago. Here’s hoping she’ll get it, and respond. And we have back from our agency all the stuff we sent them that they’d supposedly sent on to his bm but hadn’t, so we can send it if the lawyer makes contact.
    I hope our story comes out as good as yours!!

  13. Goosebumps. You guys are awesome parents. No spit-cleaning of baseboards necessary.

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