You are here


Separated by the Border: A Birth Mother, a Foster Mother, and a Migrant Child's 3000-Mile Journey

In February of 2018, my family began fostering Julia, a 5-year-old from Honduras. Separated by the Border is the story of Julia and her mother Guadalupe—their trip up to the U.S., their separation, and their reunification eight months later.

From Honduras to Mexico to the United States and then back again to Honduras, Separated by the Border parallels the lives of two mothers: one Honduran and one American, and the journey that brought them deeply into each other’s lives. Immigration, foster care, machismo, and faith permeate this story about Guadalupe and her daughter Julia—not actual names—who were separated in their attempt to cross the Mexico-U.S. border in late fall of 2017. In early 2018, Julia was taken into custody by the State of North Carolina where she began living with her foster family (including her foster mother who is the author of the book). In July 2018, Gena Thomas and her husband traveled back to Honduras with Julia to reunite her with her mother and brothers. Much of the book is written in first person from Gena's perspective, along with third-person narratives from interviews with Guadalupe.


Podcasts & Radio Shows
NPR Morning Edition — interview with Rachel Martin (November 12, 2019)
Seminary Dropout — Podcast interview with Shane Blackshear
Can I Say This At Church — Podcast interview with Seth Price
Puddcast — Podcast interview with Jonathan Puddle
Roots & Branches — Podcast interview with Bud Winderweedle
Her Story — Podcast interview with Andrea Miller
Spark My Muse — Podcast interview with Lisa Colón Delay
National Immigration Forum — Podcast interview with Ali Noorani
WFAE Charlotte (NPR) -- Te Quiero, Te Quiero. The Story of A Mother and Daughter Reunited


Articles & Print Interviews
Psychology Today — Interview with Dr. Jamie Aten
Publishers Weekly — New Parenting Books Foster Faith & Resilience
The Salt Collective -- White Evangelicals We Cannot Ignore Children Separated at the Border 
Lifesomethings -- Interview with Dan Salerno
Christianity Today Women — My Foster Daughter Was Separated from Her Family at the Border


Gena writes with such love and humility. She shows what family separation looks like: the border, the push and pull factors. She does such a beautiful job with such a hard story.