My Adoption Story part 1

September 14, 2018

My Story According to My Adoption Papers…

My adoption documents state the following:

My story, as I know it, starts in Medellín, Colombia. In November 1984, an unknown woman brought me to a police station in Medellín. She said that she had found me in the street and had kept me for a month. She had not been able to find my mother, and she was now handing me over to the police.

On November 24th, 1984, the police contacted a place called el Hogar en Transito in Medellín. I think this was some kind of orphanage. They have since closed and changed both name and location, so it is very hard to find any information about this place by searching online. It is a bit of a mystery whether this place was an actual orphanage or more of a transfer home, from where kids would be placed in foster families while awaiting adoption.

The director of el Hogar en Transito communicated with the police officer who took me in and was told that my mother did not come to claim me at the police station. For this reason, they considered it best for me to be put into the adoption program through ICBF (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar) or the Colombian Family Welfare Institute.

In January 1985, in an attempt to find any family of mine, my picture was placed in a newspaper, together with two other girls. In the photo caption, it read that my name was unknown and that anyone who recognized me could come to claim me. The address was there.

No one came. Subsequently, I was labeled abandoned.

Amanda Medina Child newspaper in Colombia This Adoptee Life Website Blog

I was given the name Amanda Restrepo at some point throughout all of this. I was placed with a foster family for some time. I was put into the program for adoption through ICBF, and in February 1985, doctors examined me and estimated my age.

I was given the birthdate July 1st, 1984.

Here, there is a gap in the paperwork. The next available document is dated 7 months later, in October 1985. It is the letter from ICBF to my prospective adoptive parents, letting them know there is a girl available for them to adopt in Medellín, if they wish to do so. This letter mentions that when I came to el Hogar en Transito, I was malnourished and underdeveloped. It also says that after having lived in the stability of the home environment, I am doing well, have caught up developmentally, and seem to be flourishing.
December 16th, 1985, I am handed over to my adoptive parents at the ICBF office in Medellín.

Amanda Medina Child in Colombia This Adoptee Life Website Blog

Me, on my adoption day

In April 1988, three years later, a civil registry entry is made for me in Colombia as Amanda Svensson. In it, I have the last name of my adoptive parents, and they are entered as my mother and father, legally erasing any and all connection to my first family.

It would take 32 years until I requested my adoption documents from my mother, read them for the first time, and found out about all this information. It would take another six months until I was ready to accept that this story might be as much a fabrication as it could be the truth.

This is the story that I have been given, and now I am determined to find out if it is true or not. The fact remains that I was separated from my first mother, one way or another, for one reason or another.

However, it is not the thought of having been abandoned that bothers me most. It is the fact that there is no way for me to know how, where, by whom, under what circumstances, and so on and so forth, any of this happened.

This is where the healing work begins, and my next post will be about my emotional response to all this information. We are in for a ride, and I thank you for being with me on this journey. I also invite you to share your adoption story as well.

Own your story, share your story, write your story…

All my love to all of you!

— Amanda Unknown – Restrepo – Svensson – Medina

PS. We are all in this together!

End of Article
Amanda Medina

Amanda Medina

I was adopted from Medellin, Colombia to Sweden in 1985. I was about a year and a half when I started my life as an adoptee, and it would take 32 years until I was ready to face what that means, what that has always meant, and what that will always mean.

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