The Journey Begins

Marina Alvarez Perez lives in a remote and mountainous region of Guatemala where she and her family work at a coffee plantation. She is a single mother with two children — Julia’s big sisters.

When Marina became pregnant a third time, she was out of options.

Rather than subject another child to abject poverty, she chose to trust the universe and relinquish her baby daughter shortly after giving birth. She was told her baby would go to an American family. That was all she knew.

It was a decision born of desperation. But she did have a choice. I always tell Julia: “If Marina kept you, it would have been the best decision for her. Instead she did the best thing for you – even if it broke her heart. ”

Over the years, we have sent money to Marina as well as gifts and photos of Julia. But despite our repeated assurance, she has told us again and again that she is wracked with guilt. Can we possibly help her to heal?