Our project began because our now 11-year-old adopted daughter Maya wanted to reconnect with her biological mother, Olivia in Guatemala. Maya’s desire initiated a journey in which we hired someone to locate Olivia in her small, remote village of Chajmaic, in the area of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala in January 2015. We learned about her destitute living conditions, and that of the others in her village. A GoFundMe site was set up for Olivia’s medical care in January 2015. (Further details about the beginnings of the project are here in English and in Spanish.)
“Last summer we went to Guatemala and I got to meet my birth mother. At first I felt nervous, but the nerves went away. When I first saw her, I was going to hug her, but before I got the chance, she hugged me first, but my hands were down, so I couldn’t really hug back! I think we were in that moment for two or three minutes. I was laughing, I don’t know why. I think I was a little nervous, but happy, too. I remember eating ice cream together. I don’t know if she ever had ice cream before, but she liked it!
To stay in touch, I have sent her a couple of notes through our friend Ricardo who sees my birth mother every couple of months to find out what’s happening. Ricardo started the chili project first by visiting my birth mom. I appreciate that my adoptive family and Ricardo want to help my biological family, and the village leaders appreciate it, too. I think it’s really good that they came up with this, and I’m glad they’re still doing it.” – Maya