Birth Country: Colombia
Decade of adoption: 1970s
My only connection to the brief time I spent in Colombia as a newborn baby is a grainy picture of Colombian health care workers standing around my crib. This picture sybolizes my early months of life, and it has helped to inspire my future life path.
When my parents arrived in Colombia to pick me up, they were informed that I was too sick to travel. I had contracted a virus that had already killed many of the children in the orphanage, and there seemed to be a good chance that I would not survive. My parents were told that they could either return to the United States and wait for word on my health, or take home another child. They chose to do both. They ended up taking home another child (on my visa), my brother by adoption. Two months later, they received a call that I had survived and that the director of the orphanage was making a fundraising trip to Minnesota. The director offered to bring me with her (on another child's visa) if my parents still wanted me. They said, "Yes," and so I came home to Minnesota, still quite sick, weighing just eight pounds at four months old. Although the first doctor to see me in the United States later admitted to my parents that, at first sight, he thought there was no way I could survive, I did indeed survive.
Today I am a family practice medical resident in Minnesota, learning the same skills as those who helped to preserve my life as an infant. I have worked as a medical volunteer at orphanages in both Thailand and Colombia, and I hope to use my skills as a doctor in foreign settings in the future.
My experience with adoption may expand as well. My wife and I have two biological sons, yet we have decided to pursue adoption from Colombia to bring the next child into our family. We feel that this would be a beautiful way to maintain our ties to Colombia and to give another child the same advantages that I was given because of my parent's willingness to adopt.