"I was born Cielo in 1977 in Colombia and was adopted by an awesomely loving family from Brooklyn, New York that same year. Through the magic of Facebook connections, I found my birth mom. That reunion not only changed my life, but gave me purpose. I started this foundation to help fundraise to support families that want to offer a loving home to children in need."
I was born Cielo Cepeda in Bogota, Colombia and given up for adoption to the FANA Orphanage in January 1977. I was adopted that same year and was brought to the United States at three months old to be raised in New York. We lived in Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens, New York. I was an active child, played instruments, enjoyed dance, attended a performing arts high school and had aspirations to become an entertainer. My parents raised me in a loving home and did their best to provide. They were forthcoming about my adoption which inspired me to help others from an early age. At the age of ten, my parents separated and a year later my mom had a new partner, a biracial woman. I was now being raised by two mommies; hence, the name “Through the Eyes of a Rainbow Child.”
At the age of 36, I embarked on the journey to find my biological mother. I searched the internet and with the help of a colleague, located her on FaceBook although she had not logged in for years. I reached out to her family and friends via Facebook but found that no one knew of my existence. It turns out my biological mother had me as a teenager and was told I did not survive the birth. She had no idea I was alive which created confusion and aroused strong emotions for all of us. After being in contact for a few months, I decided I would go out to Bogota to meet her in person. I did not speak Spanish and my biological mother did not speak English. I enlisted a bilingual friend to join me in Colombia in 2013.
That reunion not only changed my life but gave me purpose. It inspired me to help others who wish to adopt and people like me who wish to find their biological parents. Since then, I am working on a book trilogy that tells the story of Cielo, started life coaching and launched this Foundation to offer support to families that wish to provide a home to children in need.
The images below capture the highlights of my first encounter with my biological mother, grandmother and family members in Bogota and Sogomoso, Colombia in 2013.