National News

Woman adopted from Guatemala finds her birth family, warns potential parents

Posted June 4, 2018 5:31 p.m. EDT

— An East Grand Forks woman is about to go on the trip of a lifetime.

She's off to Guatemala to meet her birth mother -- after being separated as a toddler.

WDAZ's Kenneth Chase tells us her warning for any potential adoptive parents

A caregiver--"We're going to take your medicine now ok?"--with a special story.

Dina Dementi was born in Guatemala.

"I didn't grow up bitter. I became the person I am. Loving and caring of other people," Dina Dementi, Care Giver.

But Dina's story isn't that simple.

She spent years looking for her birth mother when she found a relative on Facebook.

"I didn't know how to react. I was just like, "you're saying my mom's alive? Like. You're telling me my mom's alive. First you told me she was dead," says Dementi.

That relative -- Dementi's Aunt -- told her that her mother was dead. She was worried Dina was a front for the drug cartel, trying to get information on their family. After talking with Dina's mom, everything changed.

Snapchatting her mom for the first time.

"The first thing I could remember was saying mom, mama? I don't' speak fluent Spanish and she doesn't speak English at all," says Dementi.

"I asked her the hardest question you could ask a mother was why did you give me up? Why did you let me go. She said I never let you go Dina. You were taken from me you were stolen from me," says Dementi.

When Dementi was 2-years-old -- her mother was working as a maid.

She took her to what she thought was a daycare -- except they never let her leave with her daughter again.

"These people were taking advantage of her. She was giving them money to watch me at the orphanage," says Dementi.

Dementi stayed there for about four years.

The memories still haunt her.

"We were abused there. And molested there while we were in the orphanage," says Dementi.

And her mother had few options for help.

"it was during the guerilla war. The cops were cruel and the government was cruel and corrupt. Children were sold black marketed easily," says Dementi.

Eventually Dementi was adopted by an American family with roots in North Dakota.

And decades later -- she's set to make the trip back to her birthplace this weekend.

"It's going to be everything. It means everything. No words or no money could replace that hug. That first hug from my mom," says Dementi.

"Yes grandma."

Dina has been working as a caregiver for Amanda Brantl's grandmother with Dementia.

"I guess I couldn't really ask for much more than that. She seems to bring a happiness to you," Amanda Brantl, friend.

Working seven days a week to save money -- hoping to pay for her mother to visit the U.S.

"It's going to mean a lot. It's my dream that came true," says Dementi.

Hope for a future with the family she never knew.

If you want to help her mother visit the United States, donations can be submitted through Gate City Bank.

An account is set up under her name, Dinita Dementi.