Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Traveling through the outskirts of Medellin was a scenic experience colored with greens and views that will last a lifetime. My birth mom studied the terrain of my face with her fingertips in the backseat of the car as my half-brother kept turning around in the front seat making sure I wasn't a figure of his imagination. Our translator, Jhonny, was driving and speaking Spanglish, commentating on his memories of the area and the history of his resilient country.
Once we got to my Abuelas house, she greeted me as if no time had passed. My grandmas' home was a quaint and quiet place, surrounded by a garden of flowers, vegetables, and clean country air.
It was time for lunch and I could hear my new family running around in the kitchen while speaking Spanish that was too fast to understand. I took a breath overwhelmed with emotion. At that moment, the deep gratitude I felt blended with serenity was euphoric. Never in my life would I thought I would've been here- if you asked me 10 years ago I would've laughed. This experience allowed me to turn fear into love.
My birth mom strutted over to the table with a full plate of Arroz con pollos, a side of ham, and platanos. As she put down the plate in front of me, she stared into my eyes as if I were a baby. She took my hands and put one fork into my left hand and opened my right hand to gently the place a knife into my right hand. She then placed the napkin onto my lap and put her hand behind my head and said, "Mi Hijo, te amo mucho." I choked back tears imagining how long she's been wanting to do this for.
After a little while of some small talk and long stares in each other's souls, we began to dissect the elephant in the room… The question I've wanted to know my entire life, the question that I wasn't sure if I could ever ask, "Why did you put me up for adoption?" This is a story you can read in "Don't Settle in Your 20's: How I left corporate America to find Hugo"- but for now I'd like to focus on a powerful moment that I'd like to share.
After 15 plus years of feeling angry, upset, and confused I told my birth mom how I felt. For me, it was something that I knew would help my healing process. I didn't need a response or a rebuttal, I just knew I needed to say it- but what my birth mom said next I never thought I'd hear or expect to hear.
My birth mom, said, "Forgive me." Maybe subconsciously I wanted to hear this all of my life but immediately I shook my head and closed my eyes and pictured how much love and gratitude I have for the life I was given. The love from my parents and the opportunities I had had, all because of the most selfless act that could have possibly been done by the woman who is saying forgive me. I was adopted because my birth mom wanted to give me a better life. I said, "Forgive you? You have brought me into this life and sacrificed your world to give me the world I'm in now. You are an angel and I am a byproduct of your depth and love." After this moment, we all embraced in a never-ending hug. None of us spoke for the next hour- we just smiled and nodded.
The car ride back my heart felt light, and euphoria washed over my body, mind, and soul. I had reached a point in my being that was so deep and damaged. From that day on, I began to heal.