“Unimos nuestros lazos familiares…”

My experience with Colombia Tu Pais was so positive that I decided to write a letter recounting my experience with Gyna Hernandez and her husband, Diego, so that families who are considering Colombia Tu Pais to reconnect with birth families could hear about my experience.

I am the adoptive father of two teenage girls, ages 15 and 16, both from Colombia. We adopted our youngest daughter (I will call her Pilar) two years ago when she was 13, and our oldest daughter (I will call her Rosa) when she was an infant.

When we traveled to Colombia two years ago to adopt Pilar, Rosa started to become curious about her birth family and she expressed a strong interest in knowing who her birth parents are and whether she has siblings. We told her that we would do everything we could to help her locate her birth family. I called a friend in Colombia and asked if he knew of anyone who could help us locate Rosa’s birth family. He recommended Colombia Tu Pais. I found the website online. I called Gyna and we began our search. We gave Gyna all the information we had about Rosa’s birth mother and within a few weeks Gyna was able to locate her birth mother, her sister and an aunt.

Rosa’s first contact with them was over the Internet and through Skype. Rosa spoke with her birth mother, her brother and sister and her aunt via Skype and we all met each other with tears of joy and incredulity. It was wonderful. This joyful meeting prompted our other daughter, Pilar, to ask us if we could help her locate her brother. She had not seen him in five years and was very worried about his fate. We agreed to help her and called Gyna once again.

This search was much more difficult because we had little information to give Gyna. It took Gyna many months before we heard from her. But eventually she contacted us with good news. She had found Pilar’s paternal grandparents, her birth father, an aunt and eventually even her brother. We contacted her grandmother and aunt via email and we decided to travel to Colombia to meet their birth families. Gyna’s hard work had changed all of our lives. Gyna was able to provide us with the names, addresses and phone numbers of both birth families, and both families were open to the idea of meeting in person.

We spent half a week visiting with Rosa’s birth family and half a week visiting with Pilar’s birth family. It was an extraordinary time with many tears of joy and sadness. Our daughters both understand that they have two families now, and that they can maintain relationships with both as they wish. The work that Gyna Hernandez does is so very important. She is honest and trustworthy. She has helped my daughters reconnect with their birth families and helped us widen our family connections.

I will be forever grateful to Gyna and Colombia Tu Pais for the wonderful work they do.