‘I Am 1 Of 7 Children In My Birth Family. I Was The Only Child Placed For Adoption.’: Hispanic Transracial Adoptee Finds Birth Family, ‘There’s Always Room For Love.’

Story by Melaina Rogers

I was adopted when I was two weeks old from a small city in the country of Colombia called Bucaramanga. My parents have 4 biological children of their own. About 7 years after their youngest was born, my parents both got a prompting of their own, that they needed to adopt. My mom and dad decided to go on a drive and my dad told my mom, “I think we need to adopt.” My mom was shocked and she told him, “I was going to tell you the same thing.”

They started the adoption process and it went super fast. My mom then headed down to Colombia and stayed there for a month until she could go to court there and bring me back home to the states.

Growing up I had two older brothers and two older sisters. I always knew they loved me but we were so apart in age sometimes it was hard because we were at different stages of life. I am the only Hispanic person in my family. The rest of my family is caucasian.

My parents are amazing and did everything to help me have a memorable childhood. I remember going on lots of trips with them since I was younger and they always did all they could to make it fun. One thing for sure my parents did was make it a mission to know I was loved by them so much. I never felt anything less from either one of them.

My mom worked part-time and I remember playing with my friends a lot in the neighborhood that I grew up in. This was such an important part of my childhood because they became my best friends. There were two others that were so far apart in age from their siblings too so we bonded and hung out all the time. I don’t remember a day we didn’t play. They were what I needed growing up and I am forever grateful for them and the memories we made.

Growing up I remember people always telling me how beautiful my skin was. My mom would get asked a lot, “Do you think she will know she is adopted?” My mom always answered yes. My parents were always very open that I was adopted and I appreciated that growing up. Looking different from them was always one of the hardest things growing up. I always wondered what it would be like to see people that looked like me. It was hard but I hoped one day I could get married and have children and maybe see someone like me.

My parents framed a picture of my birth mom, an older brother and an older sister and I kept that in my room. My parents were very open about how my birth mom wanted a better life for me and she was so wonderful and gave me up for adoption. They would always answer questions for me. They expressed nothing but love for her and how grateful they were for her every day.

As I grew up I never really wanted to seek out my birth family. I came from Colombia and I was scared because when I was born drugs were so prevalent there. It also scared me because I didn’t know if she ever wanted to meet me. I know everyone has their reasons for placing a child for adoption and the unknown is scary.

Later on, in my life, I met my husband and still never had an interest in seeking out my birth family. I was happy, loved life, and I never felt a need to do anything different.

My feelings started to change as we started to have kids. My firstborn was a beautiful baby girl and when I held her I couldn’t believe I had someone with some of my features. As she has gotten older I now have a miniature version of myself and it is so crazy yet wonderful to me. I then had my second child and he was a boy and it was again so much fun to see that he got the same cheek dimples as me. It was a part of my heart that was always missing to see people who looked like me and even crazier that I made them.

When I turned 30 a lot started to change about what I wanted in life. I was not happy with myself. I had an amazing husband who loved me and would do anything for me but I didn’t love myself or see the girl that he saw. I decided to take the reins on my physical, mental and emotional health. I also felt like a part of me was still missing.

I also started to wonder more about my birth family and if it would even be possible to find them because they were in a different country. Lots of questions ran through my head. Is my birth mom alive? Does she even want to meet me? What is going to happen? All I want to do is thank her from the bottom of my heart for all she has given me.

I decided I wanted to use social media to find them. Social media is an amazing tool these days. I then started to do Facebook lives to see if I could get any traction. My dad is amazing and put together a book for me with all my adoption documents. I started to search for names from people on the papers my parents had saved that were involved with my adoption.

I searched all over Facebook and found a few but they were all dead ends. Everyone told me to hire a private investigator which I didn’t want to do. I decided to keep making videos. I then had a friend from high school reach out to me. She told me that she has loved watching my videos and just had a friend post on her Facebook that she wanted to help someone find their birth family for free. The only thing she stated is that they couldn’t be upset with the outcome or how long it would take.

We connected and she started digging. I would hear from her off and on over the next couple of months. My husband then started a job just before we had our second child and the first place he was asked to go was Colombia. There was no coincidence there. He met a friend that lived there and works with him often. He also helped us dig around and found that my birth mom was in fact still alive and on their welfare system there. There was not a lot of movement with finding her for a little while.

One night I remember when I got a message from the girl trying to help me and her saying that she thought she had found her. She sent me a picture and asked if that was her. It looked like her and I was stunned. I was sitting in a movie theater and the movie had just ended. I was there with my cousin and my husband and we all couldn’t believe it.

She then started to give me names of siblings and I started to reach out to them over Facebook. They were very skeptical because they had no clue I existed. She never told them. They wanted some sort of proof and I was able to show them a letter with her signature and her id number in Colombia and they couldn’t believe it. Then contact was made with a brother and he said that she wanted to meet me. I was so nervous and it had all gone by so fast. I couldn’t believe that it took just a few short months to find her.

As I started to tell family and friends most of them were so supportive but they were also so cautious. I think no one wanted me to get hurt or taken advantage of. They all knew it was my choice, my decision and they knew I needed to do what I thought was best.

Our friend who works with my husband in Colombia said he would call my birth mom and talk to her if I wanted him to. He did and told me how much she loved me and she started to pray for my happiness and health about the same time I started doing my live videos on Facebook.

I found out I am 1 of 7 children in my birth family. I am smack dab in the middle of them. I was the only child placed for adoption. When I found this out more thoughts started to race in my head. Why was I the only one given up for adoption? What is wrong with me? Did she not love me as she loved them? Your mind likes to take you to the worst place when there is the unknown.

My youngest brother speaks English and Spanish and this is no coincidence. He lives with his Godmother and she has kids that live in the states and they travel back and forth all the time. When they would come home to Colombia they would only speak English to him. I know for a fact God had a hand in this. He knew.

We then set up a meeting to talk on Fathers Day of 2017. We did a video chat. I wasn’t sure how well my little brother’s English was so I had my brother here come and help me since he speaks Spanish. They answered and my little brother spoke English so well and asked, “Would you like to talk to our mom?” I said, “Of course!” We then saw each other and started to cry. It was crazy and the love and emotion we felt with each other just over the phone were like nothing I have ever felt before. I then got to meet the rest of the family. Everyone was in tears and it was such a happy moment.

As time has gone on we have talked more and I have been able to ask more questions. When I asked her why me, she told me she wanted me to have a better life than what she could provide for me. There are still lots of questions I want to ask her and have answered. I hope one day to make a trip down to Colombia and be able to meet her in person.

I now get to have them in my life. It has been fun building those relationships with them and getting to know them. As I watch them on video chat it is still so weird to see people that look like me and have some similar mannerisms.

Adoption has taught me so many things. It doesn’t matter what your family looks like there is always room for love. You can love more than one family and that is okay. I love being an adoptee because I have such a wonderful life from all the blessings that come from adoption. I want people to see that the unknown is scary but you will never know unless you put yourself out there. I think it is so important to share adoptee stories and see their perspective. I know all stories aren’t like mine but I am grateful for mine.

The most important takeaway I have had throughout this whole journey is my belief in God. I never had a solid belief in God until I started on a journey of self-love and putting myself out there to find my birth family. It is never too late if you want to do something that will challenge you and forever change your life.

I say go for it! Open your heart but also keep it guarded and protected how you see fit. You know what is best for you. 

You can follow her journey on: Instagram, Facebook and YouTube

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