A message from Andres, the Chilean exchange student! Posted by Diana Welch March 2nd, 2011

Almost every day, we get emails from people who have read our book. Some of them simply want to reach out because they were moved by our story while others write to share their stories of childhood tragedy and triumph. On a the rare occasion, we receive blasts from the past that blow our hair back. Today we got one of those: All the way from Chile, Andres himself!

Here is his email, in full, reprinted with his permission, of course.

To: Amanda, Liz, Diana, and Dan

Subject: The Unexpected Chilean Student

I don’t  know how to start writing these lines after 28 years, but I couldn’t help it after reading your book, “The Kids are All Right.”

I’ve got the best memories about the time I spent living with you at the gray house, as you called it, and many times I wondered about you and your different lives.
I remember your mother as a beautiful, nice lady, and I boasted telling stories to my friends about how lucky I was to have met this famous celebrity and her wonderful family.

After reading the book and realizing how difficult things were at that moment, I thank you all very much, and specially Amanda and Liz, for your generosity in receiving me and making possible that those 8 weeks were one of the best times I have had in my life!
I have so many good memories that I would like to share with you but, that would take a very long e-mail. Tomorrow is my 45th birthday and …how could I not recall the fantastic surprise party you threw me (so well described in the book), likely to be my best birthday celebration ever!

I hope Dan remembers me as he was very young at that time, but I am almost sure Diana doesn’t , I am enclosing this photo with her reading the book that your aunt gave your father for his birthday, she was such a sweet little girl, who did give me her teddy bear the day I left, which decorated my room for many years until I got married.

Hope to hear from you,

Best Regards,


It was amazing to hear from Andres, and we wrote him back immediately. Hopefully, he’ll share more memories with us!

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