Carlota's Choice

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Carlota's Choice

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Posted: 10/12/2011
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

My name is Jose Hernandez. When i was younger I was married a beautiful woman named Yolanda. We lived in Mexico and after many fights and problems, we were divorced in 1978 I moved away and never saw my ex-wife again; though it was rumored she was living in Las Angeles with her mother. 20-years later, I got a shocking phone call from a young lady named Carlota who said she was my daughter.

I was in dis-belief. I was remarried to my wife Yaya and had 3 small children. I didn't know what to. Foolishly, I told her I was glad she was fine, but she should move on with her life; she was better off not meeting me. I could hear the hurt in her voice before she hung up, and I have regretted hurting her every day since that phone call 11 years ago. This was the biggest mistake of my life. I honestly wasn't trying to reject her. I just remembered everything that happened when I was married to her mother and I felt I was not worthy to be a part of her life.

Now I'm ready to have a relationship with Carlota. I'm hoping she will give me a second chance to be the father she deserves. My children are almost grown now and since that day, we have included her in our nightly prayers and have looked for her on many websites over the years but no luck. Her mother's name is Yolanda Barejo and her grandmother's name was Romelia. They may still live in Los Angeles. I believe Yolanda married a man in the military after we divorced.

With my wife's encouragement, I contacted SQA and initiated a search to find Carlota. My researcher was Julie Jones and she located Carlota in only 7 days!! Julie first contacted Carlota by sending her a message on Facebook asking her to contact me directly. Days passed with no response. Julie emailed me Carlota's current address, phone number, and email address, along with her date of birth. She gave me a link to her Facebook page and I couldn't believe my eyes! Her profile picture shows a smiling, confident young woman. She's beautiful! She looks happy. I wondered what I missed out on and wished I had not rejected her when she first contacted me. As each day closed, I prayed that she would contact me and forgive me.

My wife contacted Julie to see what we should do. We agreed our next step would be to send a letter to her home address, but we would wait one more week for Carlotta to contact us or not. Three days later, Julie forwarded me this email:

"Yes, I am Carlota, and yes, Jose is my father. The thing is, the last time we spoke, which was about 11 years ago, he turned my world upside down. I have moved on. I have built a family and don't feel a need for putting myself through that again. So I appreciate the fact that he feels remorse for what he did, but the rejection is not something I can get over just that easily. Please forward my information to my half-siblings and I would gladly reunite with them. However, please ask Jose to respect my choice."

Now I know personally the pain a person feels when they are rejected by their own blood. I am ashamed that I "turned her life upside down," and I will respect her wishes. I just want her to know that even if I never have a chance to get to know Carlota, I will always consider her my daughter and I will always love her. Although I feel much sorrow at her choice, I understand it and respect her choice as a grown woman. I hope that she will come to change her mind with time, as I did.

In the meantime her brother and sisters have been communicating back and forth with her. We are taking it slow and hoping to guild from here. I cannot express how grateful we are for this opportunity that has been given to our family. I want to tell my story so if anyone who is reading this is every contacted out of the blue by a long lost child, they understand the damage that can be done in the blink of an eye. Make the decision now to open your heart and your arms no matter what. Otherwise you may lose the opportunity down the line. I am glad I reached out to Carlota, however, because I hope now she at least knows I love her and I want to be a part of her life. Thank you SQA!

Written by Mica Burton on Jose's behalf.
(Client ID# 291600)
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