"Our Canadian-Colombian Family Reunion"

After an international birth family reunion, this adoptive mother felt herself overflowing with emotion.

Two mothers at a birth family reunion

Families Without Borders included writing by a Canadian adoptive mother (Leceta Guibault) and her son Tristan’s Colombian birth mother (Piedad). Below, read excerpts from the journal Leceta kept, describing the emotional reunion with Tristan’s birth mother and his extended family, including half-siblings.

My heart pounds as I go over moments in my mind. The best: holding Piedad in my arms. I could feel our hearts beating together. No words were necessary as I looked into the eyes of the mother who gave birth to my beautiful son. Tristan’s joy cannot be described. Tonight he is a strong and proud Colombian… who skis like a Canadian!

I was pleased to present Piedad with her writer’s honorarium from Adoptive Families. She said that she was finally going to buy herself a pair of glasses. As Tristan had assumed, she is as blind as he is! This afternoon everyone sat around trying on his, Kahleah’s, and my glasses. I was touched to see Tristan offer Piedad his to try on. And, of course, she saw the best through his! He somewhat “avoided” her earlier, concentrating on the children, but today he’s warmed up.

After eight years of contact, everyone is much as I had expected them to be. The exception being that Piedad looks older than her 32 years. Life is not easy for them. Their realities are so sad, yet they love and laugh, even with fatigue and the sadness of life evident in their eyes.

I had thought for a long time about a gift for Piedad. What do I give to the woman who gave birth to my child? I decided on a beautiful silver locket that my mother had given to me, and enclosed photos of Tristan as an infant and at age 10. Her face said it all. She said that she had always dreamed of having a locket and that she will never take it off.

We arrived at the pool today to find a group of people holding a party. A group of girls around Tristan’s age were very interested in this exotic, English/French-speaking, muy guapo boy. They sang his name and followed him around, and Piedad told me the girls were calling me “mother-in-law” in Spanish! Heck — in this case there would be two mothers-in-law!

This morning I woke up with a feeling of dread. I have always hated good-byes, but this one will be particularly painful.

Piedad expressed such gratitude and joy at the fact that we visited. After seeing with her own eyes that Tristan is loved and a very happy and healthy child, she told me that she is at peace about him.

Most of the tears were shed by the adults.The children hugged and kissed and hugged again. It was very hard for any of them to let go. There is a promise to return. Once again, we will keep this promise. Hope is based on this promise.

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