I wrote Don Ambrosio this letter a few weeks ago about my birth mom:
Dearest Mr. Ambrosio,
I hope that this letter finds you well. A few weeks ago my friend Vincenzo called you on my behalf because I cannot speak Spanish very well. It was a very hasty call so I will explain my situation again because I think that you can help me.
I was born in February 1, 1986 in Estacion Central, Chile to Julia Veronica Vergara Aravena. She worked as a maid at the time she became pregnant with me. The father asked that she have an abortion but she decided that she would have me and then she would give me up for the adoption. When I was born my name was John Stephano Vergara Vergara.
The name of my adopted mother is Carol Brown. She and my father, Robert, lived in a small town in Texas when they adopted me. My mother said that she spoke with you often during the process of adoption. She thinks that my mother might have stayed with your family in Santiago for the three months that I was there.
I understand that you now are retired and that many of the documents that mention my birth mom could be lost. You are the only person that may have been in contact with my birth mom. I am trying to find her so that she can attend my graduation ceremony this December. I think that it would mean a lot to her and my adoptive family if she could be there.
I cannot express in words how much it would mean to me if you know her or have any documents that could help me find her. Thank you so much Don Ambrosio. I hope to hear from you soon.
John Stephano Brown
Here is his response:
My Very Dearest John Stephano:
I arranged your adoption, and like many others, it was very sad to see hopeful mothers finding themselves pregnant, and consequently frustrated by their lack of power to give their children what they had desired for them, such as a future and an education. Instead of the alternative of abortion, these women demonstrated true heroism by having their child and putting it up for adoption.
Unfortunately in my country, the desire of these mothers to have their children and give them a better future than that which they could provide was looked down upon. In fact, myself and other lawyers were persecuted for undertaking the generous crusade of helping these mothers, even accused of trafficking minors. This was a very ugly situation, as it assimilates the selling of slaves.
I experienced some very bitter moments throughout this witch hunt, like those in Salem, where honest women homeowners were accused of witchcraft. I was detained as a criminal and all my documentation was seized.
Many years have passed since then, and many since I’ve retired from my professional practice. I’m now 81.
Unfortunately, I do not have a way of locating your heroic mother. All I can do is assure you that she loved you so much that she gave you up so that you would have a better future.
I am truly sorry that I cannot give you the information that you long for, but I embrace you with the warmth of a Chilean that did what he could so that you would have the family that is yours today..
So with a little under a month to go things are kind of at a stand still. I have some ideas of some future steps but we'll have to see if I will be able to put them in motion before graduation. Thanks to Nick, Janine and Vincenzo for helping me translate these letters. As always, thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.