Her testimony challenges biases
and highlights the power of unconditional love.
My name is Julieta.
I was born on March 21st., 1991, in the Capital City of Santa Fe.
I arrived home a few hours after I was born.
I have a sister who is nine years older than me, who is also an adoptee. We are not biological sisters.
I’ve known I’m an adoptee for as long as I can remember.
My adoptive father was always the one who told me ‘my adoption story’. I remember asking him to tell it to me many times. I asked him, not because I didn’t remember the story accurately, but to see if by chance he added any new details. To my disappointment his account of the story was always the same.
I remember to this day the knot that I felt in my throat when my father told me that my biological mother couldn’t raise me and that he didn’t know the reason.
Today I think that for such a young girl, I already had a lot of unanswered questions. These questions kept my mind always busy, thinking, or as I was told at home and by my friends: ‘in the clouds’.
I will always be grateful because I have been told the truth since, as I mentioned before, as long as I can remember.
My truth, and the truth of all adoptees, is a reality that is redefined at every stage of life. Our truth is unconsciously relived and felt in every separation, mourning or farewell. And it is a reality that we sometimes quarrel with, deny, or hide, until one day we finally embrace it. Perhaps as it happends with all difficult and early life experiences.
My adoption and my sister’s adoption wasn’t a taboo issue in my house, but it was discussed less than I would have liked. My adoptive mother had many fears and insecurities about it, especially when I mentioned that I wanted to meet my biological mother and my biological family at some point in my life.
My parents never denied me knowing my birth family, but they always told me to wait until I was older. Time went by and when I was finally older, they told me to wait until I turned eighteen. So time passed by, until finally it was my biological mother who found me.
I met my first mother, Mariana, when I was 20 years old. We met for the first time, at the house of one of my (adoptive) uncles, whom I am deeply thankful for the support he offered me and my family at that time.
In that first meeting, Mariana showed me photos of my biological half-sisters, whom she did have the opportunity to raise. Sometime later I also met them in person.
Today I have a very good relationship with one of them.
Deep inside, I always knew that sooner or later I was going to meet my first mother. I felt it in my soul. I never judged, condemned, or resented her. However, it did hurt me a lot to think that I had been ‘abandoned’, not loved. I thought that maybe there was something wrong with me, so others couldn’t love me, because if the person who should have loved me the most left me… imagine the rest!
Eventually, I understood that Mariana made a courageous and loving decision. And so I was able to resignify my story. I could see it from a less painful, and more objective perspective.
From my point of view, society in general condemns and judges very fast, matters that are difficult to understand. Furthermore, we are part of a very chauvinist society, in which no one questions the responsibility of the first father.
Mariana gave me the chance to have a family, and she also gave my adoptive parents the opportunity to be parents (something they really wanted).
As years went by, I also understood that nothing was my fault. I realized that while I was making the effort to be born, there were several adults making decisions for me, for which I am not responsible at all. It seems like nonsense, something simple, but I had to work a lot on it in therapy, to really understand this, and leave the guilt behind.
I know Mariana comes from a very humble family. She had me at the age of 20, and I was the result of a relationship with a man who along with her relationship with her, had another partner and children. Mariana found out about this when she was already pregnant with me, and ended her relationship with him.
Growing up as an adoptee was different for me at every stage of my life.
At first, with the spontaneity and innocence I had as a child, it seemed to me the most ‘normal’ thing in the world. I told it to my classmates. I remember that when I was in first grade it caused a lot of fuss, which made the teacher call my mother.
During my adolescence, my parents got divorced. Their divorce was very conflictive. In addition, I had the expected difficulties of that stage in life, and then my feelings about myself and everything around me became quite complex. I began to feel embarrassed about being an adoptee, and the subject caused me a lot of anguish. I got to the point of not being able to talk about it with those who asked me, even with my closest friends.
After a lot of work with my therapist (and conversations with people who support me with love when I need to talk), today I feel it as one more aspect of myself, and I tell it naturally. In addition, it was very good for me to join a community of adoptees, where I feel mainly understood and heard.
Those of us who were adopted have much to tell, learn and teach about what happens to us. We are still a group of individuals who are invisible.
Adoption for me is like a heart opening… like a giant wave that swallows all prejudices and carries them to the bottom of the sea.
Adoption is being happy in spite of uncertainty; it is learning to live with the mystery of love and pain. To feel as son or daughter, mother or father, sister or brother, to feel as family someone who is not related by blood.
It is an experience to which I want all of us to be encouraged, because it opens your mind and soul. This experience teaches you about empathy, about bonds, and in some way erases the barriers that only people invent and that prevent us from loving others.