Daniel Roy, News Editor

Zulima was a young girl around the age of 16 years old on her family farm in Amatitlan, Guatemala–a farm area best known for growing the ripest melons to be harvested and shipped all across the country. Though her parents met much success in the industry, her family like many other Indigenous families lived in poverty, waging day to day paychecks amongst her family unit to indulge upon a (barely) day to day meal of rice and beans, throwing some sort of meat in there on a good day. Her house was nothing to maunder over, simply being a pile of twigs founded over dampened mud and clay–but it kept her family warm throughout the seasons.

She met a man at a time unknown to me, all I know is he just happened to be passing through her community, maybe it was his facial features? or eyes? or the way he spoke? But her heart tethered to him. Her heart caved to him, her body and desires caved physically–resulting in her pregnancy and eventual birth of me on January 31st, 2002.

My Father left the scene not long after, like the whisk of the wind he left with no trace–to this day I am unsure why, but perhaps his mind was not in the mental shape to be the father figure I would so desperately need in my life–I can surmise.

My Mother left her farm in Amatitlan to pursue work in Guatemala City. She stood on her feet for sometime–managing a lease on a small apartment and was able to provide the basic means needed to keep me warm and fed…but it wasn’t enough. Her desires to push mothering forward were hopeless, she was paying out of the pocket for formula, diapers were a rarity to find, if she ever found them. She spent nights going on nothing but a cup of coffee rocking me to sleep, just to rise up after an hour of sleep to go to work.

With months of debate and contemplation, my mother left me in the arms of a foster mother, the life she wanted for me, to the life she provided to this point was anything beyond her capability. I needed hope: a chance to have freedom, food, clothes, a means to assure whatever I desired in my future I could pursue, she knew tethering me to her unavailability to take care of herself, let alone me was not possible, and her actions to give me up, I cannot fault.

After months of being cared for in the arms of my foster mother, a kind young couple by the name of Paul and Christine Roy in the United States applied for adoption in Guatemala. I was matched instantly with them, and by early July of 2002, they were boarding a plane back to their small town of Newington, Connecticut where I have lived for the past twenty years alongside my younger sister Julia in July of 2005.

I have not thought much of my birth mother or father, and how I got here very much in my lifetime, there has always been a small bitter taste in my mouth towards them. Often growing up to my college years, I have always felt heavy survivor guilt knowing I had cousins and or siblings who were not adopted and given the opportunities I have–I wish they thought more of the other youth in my family. But I will say for all they did for me, I feel the stars aligned in the ways they should’ve been–I am truly blessed to live a life of safety, security, and stability with the parents who have raised me. I am honored to call Julia my sister, and to have made the memories of laughter, adventure, and love that she has given to me, my Mothers sacrifice never went in vain, and my Fathers panic has long been forgiven. I don’t know where they are or whatever became of them, but if the Universe could ever send forward to them a message I would have this to say:

Thank you, my life has amounted to everything I ever desired it to be, and like always hope, I am enjoying, and whenever I reflect upon all I enjoy, and the acts of love you took to get where I am here today, I smile.